New York teen uses final breaths to identify her alleged killer

NEW YORK – A New York City teenager used her final breaths to identify the man who killed her after she refused to date him, according to police.

In May of 2016, 16-year-old Shemel Mercurius was babysitting her 3-year-old cousin at her Brooklyn apartment. That’s when Taariq Stephens, now 25, allegedly shot her multiple times with a machine gun.

Surveillance video from that night shows the alleged killer in an elevator at her apartment building and later opening fire. Stephens has been charged with murdering Mercurius.

In court on Monday, police said that they found the victim’s cousin crying and covered in blood.

One NYPD officer tried to help Mercurius while they waited around 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. She told them that Stephens had wanted to date her but she wasn’t interested. She later died at a local hospital.

Stephens faces 25 years to life in prison for second-degree murder and weapons charges.