A 16-year-old White girl has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder for stabbing an Uber driver to death. On Tuesday, May 30, Eliza Wasni killed Uber driver Grant Nelson with a knife she stole minutes before getting in his car from Walmart.
Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Cunningham told reporters details of the case on Wednesday, May 31st at a press conference.
According to the Cunningham, on May 30th around 2:30am Wasni entered a Walmart and picked up a knife and a machete. She’s observed on surveillance walking around the store with the items. She then exited the store without paying for either item or being stopped by Walmart personnel.
Wasni ordered an Uber a few blocks from the Walmart. When the victim Nelson arrived, she got into his car. Nelson reportedly drove for about two minutes before Wasni began hacking and stabbing him from the backseat.
Nelson was able to maneuver his vehicle into the driveway of a condominium. He got out the car and ran to the lobby door. He was heard banging on the door and screaming, “Help me! Help me! I’m going to die!” Residents of the complex then called the police.
Wasni attempted to leave the scene driving off in Nelson’s car, but she hit a median in the process. She then exited the car and fleed on foot.
When authorities arrived on the scene, they found Nelson on the side of the building with multiple wounds on his right side indicative of him being stabbed from the backseat. He described Wasni to the officers before being transported to Presence St. Francis Hospital where he later died from his wounds.
Officers spotted Wasni and pursued her on foot. They found her crouching behind an air-conditioner generator holding the knife in one hand and the machete in the other. The officers repeatedly told her to drop the weapons, and she did not comply. They warned her that she would be tased, and she still did not comply. One of the officers then tased Wasni and she dropped the knife and machete. She was cuffed and taken into custody.
— Listening to the press conference I wondered at how many points if Wasni were Black how the situation would have changed. The ending is even more mind-blowing. Privilege to the max. —
An Uber spokeswoman issued a statement Wednesday saying the company is “heartbroken by the loss of one of our partners, Grant Nelson. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.”
Nelson’s mother released the following statement. “To the wider driving community — Uber, Lyft, and taxi cab drivers — who take us all where we need to go, we pray that you will remain safe and free from harm, and hope that if anything can be done to increase your safety, it will be done,” Christina Nelson said.
Please keep the family of Grant Nelson in your prayers. Stay tuned for updates.
Bryant Smith is the founder and owner of The Top Tea.