CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time, we are hearing from the family of a young woman who’s murder shocked the city.
Nadia Ezaldein was a University of Chicago student and a seasonal employee at the Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue. On Nov. 28, 2014, Black Friday, Ezaldein was fatally shot inside the luxury department store on her 22nd birthday.
Her ex-boyfriend, Marcus Dee, pulled the trigger, then killed himself.
“Nadia was an incredibly inspiring, intelligent sister of mine. She was very near and dear to all of us,” said Harib, her brother. “I remember the reaction from my sisters, from my parents, and it was a very tragic night.”
Prior to the shooting, Ezaldein told friends Dee had physically abused her.
Today, Harib, a physician, is joining forces with the Center for Domestic Violence Policy in trying to raise awareness about abusers who come to the workplace.
“When you break up with someone, you may move out of the shared residence, so they don’t know where your live anymore. But they know one thing about you — where you work,” said Pam Paziotopoulos, who is the founder of the national organization.
Paziotopoulos says if Nordstrom had known Ezaldein had been abused by her ex-boyfriend, her death could have possibly been prevented.
“And perhaps if she would have divulged it at that time — she could have given a photograph of the abuser — and both security guards at the front of the mall, and the front of Nordstrom, would have had a photograph of that abuser.”
On Thursday, Harib and Paziotopoulos will hold a fundraiser to raise money for domestic violence awareness in honor of Ezaldein, who her brother says is someone “I hope to exemplify in a lot of ways, and something that I hopefully learn from and carry on in my own life.”
The Positively Purple Fundraiser is at Artspace, 900 N. Michigan Avenue, at 7 p.m. Thursday evening. It will benefit the Center for Domestic Violence Policy.
CBS 2 reached out to Nordstrom to see if the store has made any security changes in the three years since Ezaldein’s murder. We haven’t heard back.