A Brooklyn teenager who had declined a man’s advances used her dying moments to identify him as her shooter, according to police.
Shemel Mercurius, 16, was watching over her 3-year-old cousin in a Brooklyn apartment on May 31, 2016, when Taariq Stephens, now 25, allegedly barged in and shot her after a brief argument, according to authorities.
Former New York Police Officer Kyle Thomas Daly, who was among those responding to the shooting, gave an account of what Mercurius told police in testimony at Stephens’ murder trial on Monday.
“I put on gloves, laid her down and began rendering aid,” Daly said, according to The New York Daily News. “She regained consciousness and gave me her name and date of birth.”
Daly, who now works for a Long Island police department, said that the teen told a detective that Stephens wanted to date her but she wasn’t interested. She said she had met and exchanged numbers with Stephens at a child care center a week earlier, according to Daly.
He told the court that Mercurius, bloodied next to her crying cousin, drifted in and out of consciousness while an ambulance took 20 minutes to arrive. She later died at a local hospital.
Video footage presented at the trial shows Stephens forcing his way inside of the apartment, according to People.
Lona Junien, Mercurius’ friend who was at the scene, testified about what she observed between the two.
“The person pushed her. The person said ‘Don’t ever lie to me.’ She was screaming, he took out the gun and shot her,” Junien testified, according to the Daily News.
Stephens has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces spending 25 years to life in prison for second-degree murder and weapons charges.