Shortly after he began driving, the girl used a knife and machete she’d stolen from the store to attack Nelson, prosecutors said. Nelson pulled over and ran to a nearby condo building, where residents called 911.
When police arrived, Nelson was able to describe the suspect to officers. He died at the hospital a few hours later.
The girl was taken into custody and is being charged as an adult with first-degree murder.
Nelson’s sister told WLS-TV in Chicago that her brother was gentle, caring and kind and his death has been hard on the family.
“The family is really hurting,” she said. “This has been a devastating loss. In great part, it’s very hard for us to even process this. It feels very surreal.”
The family is asking that contributions in Nelson’s memory be made to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Nelson’s mother serves on NAMI’s board and the family hopes the murder suspect, who reportedly has a history of mental health problems, gets any treatment she needs.
Nelson’s funeral is scheduled for noon Friday in Skokie, Illinois.