NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was uncontrollable emotion Wednesday night, as family and friends mourned a 16-year-old girl who was shot and killed in East Flatbush, Brooklyn a night earlier.
The group held a vigil in East Flatbush outside the building at 1406 Brooklyn Ave., where Shemel Mercurius was killed.
At one point, the victim’s father was so upset, he had to sit down.
Around 6 p.m. Tuesday, police said officers found Mercurius inside her apartment with a gunshot wound to the chest and several more to her arm.
Police said the teen was going in and out of consciousness, but managed to describe her attacker to them. She was taken to Kings County Hospital Center where she was pronounced dead.
“Shemel, may your soul rest in peace and you will always be in my heart no matter where you go, what you do, you will always be in my heart,” the teen’s father, Dexter Mercurius, told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
As her family cleans blood from their apartment floors Wednesday, investigators are now searching for Shemel’s boyfriend.
She moved to the U.S. from Guyana and has been living at the apartment with her aunt, Latoya Mercurius.
“I looked at her laying in the hospital and it just looks like she’s asleep waiting for me to wake her up and get ready for school,” she said.
Her aunt said she has no idea who the shooter could be. She said she didn’t know Shemel had a boyfriend.
“No, I always questioned and she said no, but apparently whoever did it, she knows them,” she said.
She said Shemel was babysitting her 3-year-old cousin in the apartment, who watched the attack play out, Bauman reported.
“I said, ‘What happened?’ He said ‘Shemel died,'” the aunt said. “I said, ‘How?’ He said the man took the gun and went ‘boom.'”
Shemel’s mother is still in Guyana and her father says he does not know if she will be able to come over for her daughter’s funeral.
Police have not yet released the suspect’s identity.
The investigation is ongoing.