Marta Torres, or “Chacha,” as she was known to her grandchildren, lived with an infectious, positive energy and dedicated her life to teaching, her family says.
She loved to read, write, dance, go to concerts and collected key chains and mugs, Torres’ family said in a statement.
Torres, 61, died Saturday evening, days after she was shot by a gunman at an IHOP in Evanston, near the end of a senseless shooting spree which spanned from the South Side of Chicago to the north suburb. She became the fourth person to die in the attacks.
“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,” Torres’ family said.
Torres most recently worked as a teacher’s assistant at the Washington School in the Evanston/Skokie School District 65, according to her family.
“She cherished her family and was a true friend to everyone she met, from all walks of life,” her family said.
According to police, the shooting rampage was carried out on Jan. 9 by Jason Nightengale. The three other people killed in the attacks were Aisha Nevvell, 46, Anthony Faulkner, 20, and 30-year-old Yiran Fan. Three others were wounded.
Nightengale, 32, was fatally shot by police after running out of the IHOP where he shot Torres.
Nightengale’s family told the Sun-Times he “was fighting some demons.” Leading up to the shootings, the man also posted dozens of videos online in which he ranted about Satan, waved a gun and talked about killing random people.