NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suspect in the shooting that killed a 16-year-old girl in her Brooklyn home is expected to be arraigned on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon on Friday.
Taariq Stephens, 24, of Brooklyn, surrendered to police Thursday night, not long after police identified him and released new surveillance video in the case, CBS2 reported.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, police said surveillance video eliminated any doubt that the slaying of Shemel Mercurius in East Flatbush this past Tuesday evening was a random crime. Police said the video starts with the Stephens riding up the elevator in the building on Brooklyn Avenue where Mercurius lived.
Police edited the video upon its release – calling it graphic – but they say Stephens had a very dangerous weapon on him – a sub machine gun, CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported.
Mercurius was shot as she babysat her 3-year-old cousin just before 6 p.m. She was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital Center.
“He racks three times, so we get three full rounds outside in the hallway. He shoots her one time that goes through her arm and into her body, that causes her demise later on at the hospital,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, the suspect faced the family of his alleged victim on Friday.
Stephens kept his head down and said nothing as police escorted him out of the 67th Precinct Friday morning, while Mercurius’ family looked on just steps away. After the car doors closed – the victim’s grandfather nearly collapsed into the embrace of Mercurius’ stepmother and father, with a NYPD community affairs officer consoling all of them.
“I wanted to see if I knew this guy but honestly I never knew this guy, I never see this guy,” Dexter Mercurius, the victim’s father, said. “So I wanted to know why this guy killed my daughter because my daughter is 16 and this guy is 24.”
Police said the teen implicated Stephens as she was dying.
Investigators do not believe Stephens and Mercurius were dating. Police said the two had exchanged text messages, but the exact nature of their relationship remains unclear, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported. According to police, surveillance video from the building shows Stephens with another woman at one point, but it is unclear if she is involved in the incident.
Neighbors were relieved to hear he’s under arrest.
“I’m glad he turned himself in and I’m glad he did,” a neighbor said.
“I’m happy that they got him. Hopefully the family gets some kind of justice,” another neighbor added.
The sub machine gun has not been recovered.
Stephens has six prior arrests, and four of them are sealed.