Crime

Teen Murders Uber Driver With Stolen Knife, Machete

| by Alex Scarr

A teenage girl has been arrested for the murder of her Uber driver after she allegedly stabbed him with both a knife and a machete.

Grant Nelson, 34, picked up Eliza Wasni, 16, at a Walmart in Lincolnwood, Illinois, May 30, where Wasni allegedly chose Nelson as a random victim and stabbed him with a knife and a machete, according to WMAQ. After being stabbed several times, Nelson pulled over and ran into an apartment complex screaming for help. Wasni jumped into the driver's seat of the vehicle and briefly fled before hitting a median.

Police were able to locate Nelson by following a trail of his blood leading into nearby grass, and Nelson was coherent enough to describe the incident. He was rushed to the hospital where he soon succumbed to his injuries.

Local authorities were able to track down Eliza fairly quickly after retrieving her name from the Uber app. She was found crouching under an air-conditioning unit with the knife and machete still in hand.

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"We are heartbroken by the loss of one of our partners, Grant Nelson,” a spokeswoman for Uber said in a statement. “Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.”

The spokeswoman also noted that Uber is providing any relevant information to local police that may help with the case.

Nelson's blood-streaked vehicle was found abandoned in a nearby intersection and remained there for several hours before being towed away. Police are calling the first homicide in Lincolnwood since 2006 an "isolated incident."

"I want people to know Grant was a good person,” said his sister, Alex Nelson. "He was not a vindictive person. He was not a cruel person. He didn't deserve this fate."

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The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Eliza walked out of the Walmart without paying for the machete and knife, and no employees tried to stop her. Nelson was Eliza's third Uber ride of the night.

Police say Eliza was unresponsive when they found her in hiding, blood splattered across her shirt and still gripping the weapons. When she ignored commands to lower the knife and machete, officers subdued her with a stun gun and placed her in handcuffs.

"He was the type to give you the shirt off his back,” a former coworker said of Nelson. "If the girl had asked him for something, anything, Grant would have given it to her. It’s senseless."

Sources: WMAQ, Chicago Sun-Times / Photo credit: James Case/Flickr

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