A couple shopping at an Illinois Walmart said they warned store security about a teen girl walking out of the store with knives right before police say she fatally stabbed an Uber driver.
The teen, 16-year-old Eliza Wasni, is accused of killing 34-year-old Grant Nelson last Tuesday by stabbing him with a stolen hunting knife and machete. Nelson was an Uber driver who picked up Wasni at the Walmart. The attack appeared to be random and prosecutors have called the act "heinous" and "not provoked in any manner.”
Right before the murder, Krista Jurasek and her partner were shopping for protein powder at Walmart, according to WGN9. Then, they noticed Wasni.
“It was just suspicious,” Juraseck said. “She walked over and grabbed a hunting knife and a machete.”
She said the teen walked around the store grabbing weapons and nobody really seemed to notice.
“She was walking around the store with the machete and the knife out,” Juraseck said. “It was aggressive. She was holding the machete in one hand like you would see in a horror movie or something like that.”
Juraseck and her partner followed the girl around the store. They said they watched her walk out with a machete and a 5-inch hunting knife without paying. Then, they alerted Walmart security.
Juraseck relayed what she said to security, “'In case you haven’t seen yourself, there’s a woman walking around with a machete … a child walking around with a machete.' They were supposed to check for receipts and everything but I guess they were fumbling around.”
Juraseck and her partner also called the police but by then, Nelson had already been stabbed to death according to WGN9. Just after Wasni was picked up by an Uber driver, she allegedly began stabbing him. According to the Chicago Tribune, the wounded Nelson pulled over his car and ran to a nearby condominium lobby, pushing buttons frantically while calling for help, saying "Help me, help me. I'm going to die." Wasni now faces first degree murder charges for his death.
Juraseck described Wasni as determined and manic.
“From what I witnessed and from what could have been prevented with armed security … there’s a reason there’s armed security there at this time. They should have stopped it.”
A spokesperson for Walmart stated its employees followed store procedures when it comes to reporting stolen merchandise. The store also stated that they are cooperating with local police and that there is surveillance video of what happened.
Nelson's sister, Alexandra, said in an Associated Press report that his death is a loss of intelligence, conversation, nuance and thoughtfulness that he brought to many lives. A GoFundMe page has been started to memorialize him.