A teenage girl in Brooklyn took her last few breaths to identify the man that shot her after she turned him down for a date, the New York Daily News reports.
Shemel Mercurius, 16, was babysitting her 3-year-old cousin when Taariq Stephens came to her door and shot her three times with a submachine gun. The May 2016 incident occurred just days after Mercurius met the 25-year-old man at a daycare center. Stephens is currently on trial for the killing.
When Sgt. Ryan Habermeh arrived at the scene, he immediately called EMS, but in waiting, Mercurius mustered the strength to reveal who shot her before passing away.
“It took about 20 minutes for EMS to arrive,” Habermehl told the Daily News. “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,” said Daly, who has since left the NYPD to join the Suffolk County police department.
Mercurius’ friend, Lona Junien —who was there when the shooting happened— corroborated the information with the police. “The person pushed her,” she said. “The person said ‘Don’t ever lie to me.’ She was screaming, he took out the gun and shot her.”
According to a GoFundMe page created in Mercurius’ memory, the high school student lived with her aunt, Latoya Pryce, and planned on becoming a nurse after graduating from Edward Murrow High School.
Stephens now faces 25 years to life in prison for second-degree murder and weapons charges.