Wed, Dec 13 10:39 AM |Life

Report: 16-Year-Old Girl Uses Her Final Breaths To Identify 25-Year-Old Man Who Killed Her Because She Wouldn't Date Him

A 16-year-old girl used her final breaths to reveal the name of the man who shot her dead after she refused to date him. Shemel Mercurius, 16, was fatally shot inside a Brooklyn apartment last year by a 25-year-old man named Taariq Stephens.

Shemel was babysitting her three-year-old cousin in her Brooklyn, New York, apartment when she was murdered in May 2016.


Shemel and Stephens met at a daycare center a week before the murder and exchanged phone numbers. Stephens wanted to date the teenager and became enraged when she shunned his advances.

Stephens went to the Brooklyn Ave. apartment and shot Shemel three times with a submachine gun.

Sgt. Ryan Habermehl said he found a three-year-old child "covered in blood" and "crying next to the victim" when he and other officers broke down the door. 

Shemel was slipping in and out of consciousness as she lay dying while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. In the agonizing 20 minutes, the teenager told police the name of the man that shot her. 



Kyle Thomas, another officer at the scene, told the court, "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." 

He added, "It took a very long time for the ambulance to come, about 20 minutes." 


Stephens was seen getting into an elevator, armed with a 40-caliber Kel-Tec submachine gun, before running away from the sixth-floor apartment.


Shemel was finally transported to Kings County Hospital, where she died an hour after being picked up by an ambulance. 


Shemel's friend, Lona Junien, had gone to visit her friend and described witnessing the horrifying incident. Junien said, "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 pointed Stephens out in the courtroom during the trial.


Stephens, who turned himself in two days after the shooting, faces 25 years to life in prison for second-degree murder and weapons charges if convicted.

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