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Caution Tape

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Her name was Shemel Mercurius.

And the 16-year-old girl tragically lost her life all because she didn’t want to date her attacker. He ended up shooting her a week after meeting her at a daycare center.

According to the New York Daily News, Mercurius struggled through a painful 20-minute wait for an ambulance, but in that time, she told authorities about a 25-year-old man who wanted to date her and would not take no for an answer, the police said under oath.

Taariq Stephens, 25, has been charged with murdering Shemel, who was a junior at Edward R. Murrow High School. Before being shot last May, Shemel was babysitting her 3-year-old cousin when authorities say Stephens broke into into the Brooklyn apartment and shot her three times with a submachine gun.

“There was a 3-year-old male child … covered in blood crying next to the victim,” said Police Sgt. Ryan Habermeh. “It took about 20 minutes for EMS to arrive.”
Another officer Kyle Thomas Daly told the jury that he found Shemel bleeding, seated on a toy car and slumped against the wall.

“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.”

According to police, Shemel went in and out of consciousness, but in that time, she told them that Stephens wanted them to be a couple but she wasn’t interested.

The Daily News reported that shortly before her death, Shemel’s friend, Lona Junien, said she was buzzed her into the building, but someone over powered her.

“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 said.

However, when she was being questioned by Stephens’ lawyer, Junien acknowledged that a detective had identified Stephens as the shooter before she had a chance to identify him for herself.

Stephens is facing charges of second-degree murder and a weapons charges and, if convicted, could serve 25 years to life in prison.

So tragic. This young girl did not need to lose her life for this.

This is a developing story and we will provide updates as they become available. 


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