Officer says teen used her final breaths to identify her alleged murderer
A New York teenager used her dying breath to identify the man who shot and killed her, according to an NYPD officer's testimony on Monday.
Shemel Mercurius, 16, was babysitting her 3-year-old cousin at her family's Brooklyn apartment in May 2016 when Taariq Stephens, now 25, allegedly shot her three times with a machine gun after she rejected his advances, WPIX reports.
Responding officers testified in court on Monday about the horrific scene they encountered when responding to the apartment.
"There was a 3-year-old male child covered in blood crying next to the victim," said Sergeant Ryan Habermehl. "It took about 20 minutes for EMS to arrive."
Officer Kyle Thomas Daly, another first responder, said he found Mercurius bleeding heavily, seated on a toy car and slumped against a wall.
"I put on gloves, took her off the car and laid her down and began rendering aid," he told the court. "She regained consciousness, gave me her name and date of birth. It took a very long time for the ambulance to come, about 20 minutes."
Daly also said that while Mercurius was drifting in and out of consciousness, she told a detective that Stephens had attacked her after she rejected his request to date her.
The two allegedly met at a daycare center a week before the incident and had exchanged numbers.
Stephens faces 25 years to life in prison for second-degree murder and weapons charges.
A GoFundMe has been started to help the teen's family pay for her funeral arrangements and to start a scholarship in her name.