Teen Identifies Killer In Her Dying Breaths

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A teenage baby-sitter from Brooklyn named the man who killed her in her final moments.

Shemel Mercurius, 16, was baby-sitting her 3-year-old cousin in May 2016 when 25-year-old Taariq Stephens allegedly shot her with a machine gun, according to WPIX.

Police found the 3-year-old covered in blood and crying, and helped Mercurius to an ambulance to take her to a hospital, where she died. Shortly before her death, Mercurius identified Stephens, saying the man had tried to date her, but she had rejected him.

Surveillance video from the night of the shooting showed Stephens entering the apartment building and shooting.

"He pulls out the stock of the gun before he shoots this young lady," said NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce, according to the New York Daily News. "He racks three times, leaving three full rounds outside on the hallway."

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Mercurius' grandmother said no one in their family had known Stephens when police asked about the man.

The pair had reportedly met just a week before the killing and exchanged phone numbers at a day care, according to police.

Shortly before the shooting, Mercurius had buzzed a friend into the apartment, who witnessed the altercation between Stephens and the victim.

"The person pushed her," said Lona Junien, the witness. "The person said, 'Don't ever lie to me.' She was screaming, he took out the gun and shot her."

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NYPD Officer Kyle Thomas Daly discovered Mercurius, bleeding heavily and sitting on a toy car.

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

During those 20 minutes, Daly said, Mercurius told another detective about Stephens.

Lovern Williams-Oliver, Mercurius' mother, was in the family's native Guyana at the time of the incident, and said she had spoken with her daughter just two days before the shooting.

"She is my first baby," said Williams-Oliver. "I don't know how something like this can happen to my baby. She was peaceful, loving, and inspirational."

"It just touched our hearts that her life ended so abruptly," said classmate Ebony Campbell, who helped raise money for Mercurius' funeral. "We felt like we had to do something."

"She was such a nice person, sweet person," said classmate Kindersly Louis. "When I saw her picture on the news, I started freaking out. I was crying and crying."

Stephens was charged with second-degree murder and weapons crimes. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

Sources: WPIX, New York Daily News (2) / Featured Image: Wendy/Flickr / Embedded Images: DCPI via New York Daily News, Shemel Mercurius/Facebook via People

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