More than a month after a Chicago man killed five people in a shooting rampage, his ex-girlfriend shared her story with NBC 5, revealing details about her former partner's actions in the days leading up to the attack.
Jason Nightengale, 32, shot seven people on Jan. 9 in Chicago and Evanston before he was killed by police, authorities previously said.
"It was heartbreaking," said Madria, Nightengale's ex-girlfriend and the mother of his five children. "[I] felt lost and empty and very exhausted for about a week."
Madria said Nightengale was abusive, and she had to escape and block his number. However, sshe also feels guilty for not being able to help the father of her children.
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"...At the same time... I’m glad I’m still alive, cause it would have been me too," she said.
Madria believes her ex-boyfriend was looking for her when, during the rampage, he stopped at a convenience store in Chicago's Brainerd neighborhood. Nightengale shot and killed a 20-year-old man at the business, according to police.
"All his family members called me to make sure I was alive," Madria said.
She previously worked with Nightengale at the same security company where he was a janitor and security officer. The 32-year-old had a long list of gun, drug and domestic offences beginning in 2005 and a battery charge from when the couple got into a dispute in 2018.
"Everybody shut the door on him," Madria said. "He felt like everybody turned their back on him."
Nightengale posted dozens of videos online in the days leading up to the shootings, flashing guns and ranting about Satan. According to Madria, Nightengale narrated his actions to her during the violence, through text messages.
She had the messages blocked and didn't see the barrage of texts until it was time to unlock her phone for detectives. She also found texts from earlier in that fateful week, from threatening messages to cries for help.
"I sat down and discussed with his family," Madria said. "Everybody feels guilty about something that happened right before or days before or week before."
The Chicago resident says she lost custody of her kids due to the abuse she suffered. She is now receiving assistance from the organization Connections for Abused Women and their Children.