Although she only communicated with a stranger for a few days, a 16-year-old girl decided to meet up with the man in private. It is never recommended because you never know if you can trust the person. He could be a predator. He could be a murderer. He could be someone with no moral compass. Although this could be paranoid thinking, and more often than not the person does not have evil intentions, sometimes they do.
Despite the recommendation to the contrary, 16-year-old Shemel Mercurious met up with 25-year-old Taariq Stephens. They had met at a daycare facility and exchanged information a few days before.
Stephens then shot Mercurious. And when police arrived on the scene, the teen heroically used her dying words to tell the police officer the name of the man who shot her.
The story unfolded like this.
After meeting and exchanging information, Stephens and Mercurious started chatting. But then the teenager lost interest in the older man. This infuriated Stephens, because she had not wanted to pursue anything with him.
Despite her express desire not to see him, Stephens showed up at the teenager’s apartment complex in Brooklyn on May 31, 2016, with a firearm. At the time, Mercuriuos was babysitting her 3-year-old cousin.
After neighbors reported gunshots, police arrived at the scene. And on Monday, they finally had the opportunity to testify about the horrors they witnessed in Mercurious’s apartment.
“There was a 3-year-old male child covered in blood crying next to the victim,” Sergeant Ryan Habermehl said in court. “It took about 20 minutes for EMS to arrive.”
One of the first responders to the scene was New York Police Department Officer Kyle Thomas Daly. He found the 16-year-old girl bleeding profusely. She was slumped on top of a toy car and was leaning against the wall of the apartment trying to survive.
Officer Daly remembered what happened next and 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. It took a very long time for the ambulance to come, about 20 minutes.”
Daly confirmed that Mercurious told investigators, with her dying breath, that Stephens was the man who shot her.
This was all the NYPD needed to find the murderer. They reviewed the apartment complex’s security footage and quickly identified Stephens. This helped verify Mercurious’s statement.
Although the trail is ongoing, Stephens likely faces 25 years to life for second-degree murder and weapons charges, the Tribunist states.
This situation is heartbreaking. But Mercurious proved to be a hero until the end. If it wasn’t for her brave ability to utter the name of her killer, Stephens might have gotten away with the violent crime. And he could have killed again for all we know.
Now the law can hold the killer accountable for his heinous crimes against a teenager.
What is your reaction to this story? What kind of punishment should be dealt to the suspected killer Stephens if he is convicted?