After walking out of a Walmart in suburban Chicago wielding a stolen knife and machete, a teenage girl called herself an Uber. Then she allegedly stabbed her driver to death.
Prosecutors charged 16-year-old Eliza Wasni as an adult with first-degree murder on Wednesday, following the homicide of Uber driver Grant Nelson. A Cook County judge ordered her held without bail after the “heinous” and violent act, according to the Chicago Tribune.
During a news conference, prosecutors said that 34-year-old Nelson, who had been driving for Uber since February 2016, picked Wasni up early Tuesday. It was the third Uber she called that night. Within minutes, Wasni started stabbing the driver from behind. Nelson managed to pull over and run away to a condominium building nearby. According to prosecutors, Nelson frantically pushed buzzers and repeatedly yelled, “Help me, help me. I’m going to die.” Police found Nelson collapsed outside the condos, surrounded by blood. He was able to describe his attacker before soon dying of his wounds in a hospital.
Wasni fled the scene by getting behind the wheel of Nelson’s Silver Hyundai Sonata. She soon crashed into a median, so she opted to run away on foot instead. The Washington Post reported that police found Wasni behind a building, wearing just a bra and leggings while holding a “machete in one hand and knife in the other.” Police Tased her after she refused to drop her weapons, then took her into custody.
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) May 31, 2017
Alexandra Nelson, Grant’s sister, called the homicide “horrifying and maddening.” The Nelson family reportedly believed the attack to be random.
“[Grant was] the most gentle, kind person,” said Grant’s brother, Todd Nelson, to the Tribune. “He never hurt anyone. He was good to animals, he was good to children.” Todd described Grant as a lover of opera and classical piano, having been a “very good” piano player himself.
“I want people to know Grant was a good person,” Alexandra Nelson said to NBC Chicago. “He was not a vindictive person. He was not a cruel person. He didn’t deserve this fate.”
According to the Associated Press, Wasni attends high school, lives with her single mother and had no criminal record. She was also in violation of Uber’s 18-and-older age restriction for users.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Uber asserted that it was cooperating with law enforcement. “We are heartbroken by the loss of one of our partners,” an Uber spokesperson said. “Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with his family and loved ones during their incredibly difficult time.”