Former BGI Ethiopia employee Zelalem Berhanu shot dead by estranged husband

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Former BGI employee shot dead by estranged husband

By Samuel Getachew, Reporter

BGI Ethiopia is mourning the loss of one of its longest employees who was killed in Las Vegas in a domestic violent related death a week ago. Zelalem Berhanu, who worked at BGI for 25 years in various roles, rising from a typist to become an accountant, moved to the United States in 2014 with her husband and children and joined a brother who moved before her after winning a Diversity Visa.

The aspiring writer who was a self-published author of a book of poetry was allegedly shot by her husband before he turned the gun on himself in a failed attempt at murder-suicide. Abebe Teferi, 57, was a former lecturer at Addis Ababa University’s management department was expected to face a charge of murder with a weapon before he succumbed to his injuries at a trauma unit of a local hospital.

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The couple was separated for three months and lived separate lives according to friends.

The daughter of a lawyer was said to be raising her two teenage children alone while holding a demanding graveyard entry-level position the entry point of most immigrants to America. Her first born son is a first year university student while the other is still in high school.

Her former co-workers are said to be shocked by the sudden death of a colleague who was a fixture at the company having experienced the many milestones of BGI, including its privatization in 1998.

“Zelalem was a passionate professional who spent 25 years with our company. We valued her dedication and passion to our company and to her many colleagues,” Mesfin Legess, human resources administrator of BGI told The Reporter. “Her rise from an entry level position to the position she held most recently, as an accountant within our company is a testament to the work ethic she held for herself and the respect we had for her. We, the management and staff of BGI mourn her sudden death”.

Her body is expected to arrive in Addis Ababa on Sunday morning and she is to be buried at Saint Yeka Mikael church in the afternoon on the same day.

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