EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — Family members on Tuesday remembered Marta Torres – a woman who died after police said she was held hostage and shot during a shooting spree by Jason Nightengale.

“Marta, affectionately known as ‘Chacha’ to her grandchildren, was our loving mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, sister, aunt and friend,” Torres’ family said in a statement. “She cherished her family and was a true friend to everyone she met, from all walks of life. Marta was a thoughtful, generous, kind, loyal, sincere, strong, hardworking, and special woman who radiated and impacted lives with an infectious, positive energy. She had an unforgettable joyous voice.”

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Marta Torres

Marta Torres (Credit: Torres Family)

The family said Torres loved to read, write, dance, and go to live concerts, and was an avid collector of mugs and key chains.

Torres also loved kids and dedicated her life to teaching, most recently working as a teachers’ assistant at the Washington School in the Evanston/Skokie School District 65.

“While we mourn the loss of a wonderful woman, we also celebrate her remarkable life, with the hope it serves as an example for others to live lives of faith, love, family and friendship,” the family said. “We ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy at this time, as we grieve Marta’s passing and begin the healing process.”

Torres, 61, died on Saturday evening. She was the fourth person to die as a result of the shooting spree.

Torres was shot in the neck after she was held hostage at the IHOP at Howard Street and Asbury Avenue in Evanston on Saturday, Jan. 9 by Jason Nightengale, who also shot and injured another three people before he was shot and killed by Evanston police.

The victims were apparently shot at random – from the Indian Village district in East Hyde Park-Kenwood, to South Halsted Street in the Brainerd and Fernwood communities, and finally to the line between the West Rogers Park neighborhood and Evanston many miles away.

Nightengale, 32, had no apparent motive. But he hinted to his plans on his now-disabled social media accounts. He documented his own reckless driving on video and said he was going to be on TV.

The shooting spree began just beyond the doors of the parking garage at the Regents Park building, 5035 S. East End Ave., at 1:50 p.m.

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Police said Nightingale slipped in and killed University of Chicago Ph.D. student Yiran Fan, 30, who was just sitting behind the wheel of his car.

Across the street and a block to the north at The Barclay condo complex, 4940 S. East End Ave., police said Nightengale shot two women, killing doorwoman Aisha Johnson, 46, and wounding a 77-year-old woman who was getting her mail.

From there, he stole a red Toyota – demanding a man’s keys at gunpoint on the 19th floor of an Indian Village residential high-rise – before making his way south.

Nightengale ended up at the AK Food Mart, 9307 S. Halsted St. Inside, police said he shot and killed Anthony Faulkner Jr., 20, about an hour and 45 minutes after killing Johnson. He also shot the 81-year-old clerk, leaving her in critical condition.

Anthony Faulkner Jr., Aisha Johnson, Yiran Fan

Anthony Faulkner Jr., Aisha Johnson, Yiran Fan (Supplied to CBS 2)

Police said Nightengale went on to shoot a 15-year-old girl who was in the back seat of a car in the 10300 block of South Halsted Street, and then drove back by the AK Food Mart where he fired at officers investigating his earlier shooting but did not strike anyone.

Surveillance video shows Nightengale driving off in the red Toyota, but on police radio, his vehicle description was inconsistent – in one instance being described as a gray car with tinted windows.

It ended up being a ShotSpotter call that alerted police that Nightengale had made his way to Evanston, where he had taken Torres hostage and shot her at the IHOP before he was finally shot and killed by police.

Chicago Police said Nightengale’s erratic behavior and apparently random targets are what made him so difficult to track.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff