According to the New York Daily News, a Brooklyn teen used her last breath to tell police who shot her after the man reportedly became enraged when she told him she wouldn’t become his girlfriend.
The revelation that 16-year-old Shemel Mercurius identified Taariq Stephens, 25, came during the trial of the man who is facing murder charges over her death.
According to police, the high school junior was babysitting her 3-year-old cousin on May 31, 2016, when Stephens reportedly showed up at the apartment in Brooklyn and shot her three times with what was described as a “submachine gun.”
In dramatic testimony in Brooklyn Supreme Court, police officers described the shooting scene after receiving the call.
“There was a 3-year-old male child … covered in blood crying next to the victim,” recalled Sgt. Ryan Habermehl, adding that he called for medical back-up that arrived 20 minutes later.
According to officer Kyle Thomas Daly, the young woman was found bleeding heavily and leaning against a wall.
“I put on gloves, took her off the car and laid her down and began rendering aid … she regained consciousness, gave me her name and date of birth,” explained Daly, who also recalled that it took a long time for the ambulance to arrive.
According to the testimony, Mercurius slipped in and out of consciousness during the wait for medical help, but that she told a detective that Stephens had wanted to be her boyfriend and she told him no. The report adds that Mercurius had only met Stephens one week before, at which time they exchanged phone numbers.
The report states that the young woman was taken to Kings County Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Her accused assailant is facing 25 years to life in prison for second-degree murder and weapons charges if convicted.