Family mourns postal worker stabbed to death in Oakland while walking home

The family of a veteran postal worker who was stabbed to death in West Oakland said they were devastated at her killing so close to home.

"Three houses away. She was almost home, but she's not coming home," said Miles Spruill.

Spruill's mother, Dilma Spruill had just left work and was walking home when she was attacked on the street.

"Somebody came up and stabbed her multiple times," her son said.

Spruill, who was 71-years-old, died at the scene.

Oakland police arrested Wilbert Winchester, 28, who has a prior conviction for elder abuse. Alameda County prosecutors have charged him with murder - as well as attempted murder for allegedly stabbing another woman two days before Spruill was killed. A motive for the attacks aren't known. 

Spruill's son had this message for the alleged killer.

"I wish you peace and I wish you farewell," he said. His voice quavering, he added, "You took my best friend. You took the last living birth parent that I have."

It happened at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Spruill had finished her shift sorting mail at the post office and distribution center on 7th Street in West Oakland. 

She had been a postal worker for 18 years.

In a statement, the U.S. Postal Service said it is "deeply saddened at the loss of our employee.  We lost a member of our postal family. Dilma beamed with energy, joy and brought light to all who had the pleasure to know and work alongside her. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and her co-workers at this time."

Spruill was walking home in the middle of the night, which she usually does with no problem. But she was stabbed near 8th and Henry streets, around the corner from her home.

"What the people that was cleaning up the blood…it was right here, so if anything, she normally doesn't walk up and then across the street, because that kind of backtracks, so she walks at an angle," her son said, surveying the crime scene.

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Nialah Charles, a friend said, "It's tragic, because this is something that she does all the time, walks home, doesn't bother anybody."

She added, "Dilma was sweet. The sweetest woman ever, like my second mom."

Spruill and her son were caregivers for her longtime partner, Welton Jackson, who uses a wheelchair and undergoes dialysis.

"Twenty-seven years," Jackson said before sobbing. 

Spruill said, "I hope there's justice. I hope you find whatever you need to take for you to heal. I'm not right. I won't ever be right. It's going to take me some time."