Slain Morris Plains woman, a Marine Corps veteran, had made complaints against killer

Laurel Chasmar, 28, was remembered as a smart, caring, funny woman with a bright future. Photo: Linked In.
Laurel Chasmar, 28, was remembered as a smart, caring, funny woman with a bright future. Photo: Linked In.


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.

Laurel Chasmar, a Marine veteran, was killed by a former boyfriend. Photo: Facebook.
Laurel Chasmar, a Marine veteran, was killed by a former boyfriend. Photo: Facebook.

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!”



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  1. Sorry I did not finish a sentence in the first paragraph. It should read….

    By guns I mean illegal hand guns, which are in the hands of way to many criminals. If guns were in in the hands of law abiding citizens who are properly trained we could have had a story of a woman defending herself instead of being ambushed with no means to defend herself.

  2. Margaret,
    You are correct too many guns are in NJ and there is plenty of violence caused by some of those who have them. By them I mean criminals like the murderer in this case, who did not have a permit for the weapon. By guns I mean illegal hand guns, if guns were in in the hands of law abiding citizens who are properly trained. In this instance Laurel was trained to use a rifle and a pistol in the Marine Corps.

    I would love to see where you looked up your stats from because they are way off target. A study (I can pull up 9 more if needed.) conducted by the University of Pittsburgh in 2016 states Lawful gun owners commit less than a fifth of all gun crimes. To put that in a percentage for you and anyone else who needs it, that equates to 18% out of 100%.

    Laurel was able to engage and hit a target with a rifle @ 500 yards and with a pistol @ 25 yards. Maybe some folks can’t shoot no matter how much they are trained but I can certainly say this is not the case here.

    I hope this isn’t out of line…… But let’s stop with the ridiculous assumptions with even more ridiculous statistics and honor Laurel for who she was and who she will forever be to those that knew her.

  3. I totally agree, the police had a duty to protect her and they failed!!! The mayor should resign for so recklessly trying to defend the police failure by placing blame on the poor victim… duh, she reported numerous incidents of harassment he should of been jailed… shame on you mayor and your police department. You need to fire them all before you submitt your resignation!!!

  4. Our problem is that NJ allows to many guns and making it easier to obtain a gun will only result in more deaths due to gun violence and not fewer. There is nothing to indicate that if this poor victim had a gun that she could have defended herself from her stalker. The statistics prove that the number of persons killed by accidental shootings, far exceed the number of lives saved as a result of using a gun for protection.

  5. A restraining order is just a piece of paper. Free people must be allowed to arm themselves against potential threats to their existence. From the report, it appears that Laurel would have had MORE than sufficient time and opportunity to defend herself against this murderous ANIMAL had NJ not restricted her right to defend herself. The laws of nature transcend the laws of man. Self-defense is such a law of nature. New Jersey CANNOT be allowed to continue to BREAK the laws of nature. More innocent people will die needlessly.

  6. I am deeply saddened by this story. BUT, this is what happens to a disarmed, slave, populace like you have in NJ and NY. She was a MARINE for God’s sakes. That means she was fully capable of using a firearm. BUT NOOOOOO you morons keep electing traitors to you local and state governments. Until you wise up and throw the bastards out this will continue.

  7. Some of this doesn’t make sense. If she went through the hassle of going to the police to state that he would be a danger with a weapon, a restraining order would have done the trick. I believe if you have a restraining order you are NOT allowed to lawfully have a gun. I can’t see her turning down a restraining order.

  8. To richie, from personal experience, many people report domestic cases and dont get restraining orders. Restraining orders are given out like candy even with the most non-violent complaints. This is not a directed towards Laurel at all, the revolving door exists in the DV world. In other words, call the police, waste their time, and go back to the relationship for a few months, then repeat. I doubt an agency like MPPD would do the wrong thing.

  9. Laurel was a beautiful woman with an equally beautiful soul. Always quick to lend a hand and put a smile on someone’s face. Her family lost a beloved daughter, Marines and Veterans (myself included) lost a beloved sister, and I lost my friend. She will be forever missed….. Till Valhalla Laurel

  10. Kevin Coughlin. It does not make sense why Laurel would file a complaint and refuse to sign the restraining order. Why would you publish such crap. You as a journalist have a civic duty to print the truth. At the very least, edit your story to read that; police allegedly advised Chasmar to sign a restraining order which she ultimately refused to sign! The police could have prevented this! And you know it!

  11. I don’t believe for a second that Laurel refused to sign a restraining order against police advisement.

  12. Friends and family (WASIF H MALIK) of the murderer have been informed that Hassan had died in a car accident. While a dear friend and Marine has been slain, that murderous scum is being praised by his family and friends as a great guy. Where is the justice in all this!?

  13. How unfortunate. Restraining orders are a legal tool to create a case against a person for harassment, stalking, etc. if someone really wants to harm you, it does no good. Unfortunately, the best thing to do is alter your routine and move. Although those are not always possible. Not to mention annoying, because the person requesting it has done nothing wrong, yet they’re the one expected to change everything.

  14. Would you rather the police LIED to her? Restraining orders aren’t even worth the paper they’re printed on; anyone who NEEDS a Restraining Order ISN’T going to let it restrain them-if they are THAT “meek”, one wouldn’t be needed ! DUH !!!!!

  15. Yes, Justin. Let’s discuss that… let’s paint them to be the good guys right now. They didn’t serve and sure the hell
    Didn’t protect

  16. She didn’t just report “harassment”. She went to the police station and asked them not to approve Hassan’s request for a gun permit prior to last Wednesday. I spoke to her on Wednesday and she said she mentioned to the chief of police that she felt she would be in danger if he obtained a weapon.

    Obviously her fears were justified.

    She didn’t just report harassment. He was stalking her.

  17. Why not report the truth, that she asked for a restraining order, but Morris Police said it wouldn’t do any good?