Laurel Chasmar, a Marine Corps veteran slain early Saturday in Morris Plains, had complained to police about the former boyfriend who killed her.
“She made several complaints that he was harassing her. But she did not sign a restraining order, which police advised her to do,” Morris Plains Mayor Frank Druetzler said on Monday.
The 28-year-old woman was ambushed by a colleague from Novartis, identified by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office as Hassan Shahid, 32, just after midnight in the parking garage of her residence at The Highlands at Morris Plains Apartments on Buckley Way.
Shahid had borrowed a car so Chasmar would not recognize him lying in wait, the Mayor said. He sprayed more than a dozen shots from a .45 caliber handgun in the parking garage, hitting parked vehicles and grazing Chasmar.
Chasmar ran to the common entrance of the apartment building, but could not unlock the door in time and was fatally shot, Druetzler said.
At the borough police station, police heard the gunfire and sped to the scene. They told Shahid to halt but he ran across East Hanover Avenue, into Morris Township, and shot himself dead, Druetzler said.
Inside the apartment, Chasmar’s roommate slept through the incident, the Mayor said. Chasmar had complained recently to police about Shahid, he said.
“This is a terrible, terrible thing,” Druetzler said.
Online, Chasmar’s grieving friends expressed shock and dismay at the tragedy.
“Laurel Chasmar you where the most amazing soul I came across… your kindness your smiles your warm heart always touch everyone,” posted a friend from New York. “In the short time I’ve known you, you have been an amazing friend to me and everyone I know. You will always be in our hearts.”
“Chasmar, you were a smart, funny, sweet woman. All of the Marines who served with you are gonna miss you. RIP and Semper Fi,” a veteran from Nevada posted on Facebook. Another solemnly played the Marines Hymn on his bagpipes in her honor.
“Over the past few months she was in a bad relationship with a very controlling and jealous man. She left but not soon enough,” another friend said online.
Chasmar served in the Marines from 2007 to 2011, as an administration chief and sergeant, as a recruiter based at Camp Pendleton, CA, according to her LinkedIn page.
She joined Novartis in Morris Plains two years ago, working as a senior production support technician. Before that, she worked briefly as a quality control officer at Alcatel-Lucent in Murray Hill.
After leaving the Marine Corps, Chasmar went to school, graduating magna cum laude with an associate’s degree from the County College of Morris, where she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society.
Next, she earned a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Florham Park. She was scheduled to complete an MBA in business administration and management there next year.
For five months in 2015, Chasmar interned in internal communications at the Century 21 department store chain in New York.
“In a short period of time, she demonstrated her maturity, thoroughness and reliability,” Angela Brewer, her former manager, posted on LinkedIn that year.
Most impressive, Brewer said, “was how quickly she developed trust across the team given her work product and style. Laurel will do extraordinarily well as her career progresses — her future is bright!”