Before she passed away from multiple gunshot wounds inside her Brooklyn home Tuesday, 16-year-old Shemel Mercurius reportedly told police officers the name of her killer. Police sources told the Post Mercurius died while "blurting out a man’s name to cops in her last breath." The tabloid reports that officers are searching for a 24-year-old man believed to be seen on surveillance video entering and leaving the girl's apartment building with an assault rifle.
The footage reportedly shows a man riding the elevator and getting out on the 5th floor of Mercurius's building at 1406 Brooklyn Avenue in East Flatbush, some time before 6 p.m. Tuesday night. Police sources tell the dailies that Mercurius can later be seen shutting the door to the apartment as the man attempts to enter, then later opening it, at which point the man rushes inside, holding an assault rifle. The Wall Street Journal notes that the man can be seen leaving the scene shortly after with a woman, and NYPD sources speaking with NBC described Mercurius's ex-boyfriend as a "person of interest." (A police spokesperson could not confirm these details with Gothamist.)
Mercurius, who moved to Brooklyn four years ago from her native Guyana, had been babysitting her 3-year-old cousin when she was shot multiple times. Officers found her semi-conscious when they arrived at the scene, and rushed her to Kings County Hospital, but she could not be saved. The 3-year-old was not injured in the shooting, according to ABC.
“They’re looking for him. Her boyfriend. Nobody knew that she had this boyfriend. I always told her, ‘Shemel, you’re a beautiful girl, don’t worry about boys. Focus on your education,’” Mercurius's grandmother told The Post.
“She died before she got to the hospital. But before she died she gave the cops her boyfriend’s name,” she continued. “She told them he shot her.”
Speaking at a candlelight vigil held Wednesday night near Mercurius's home, Pastor Gilford Monrose asked, "What society do we live in when a 3-year-old boy can, actually they shot the young lady in front of him? And then having to go back in and sleep the same night, he's being re-traumatized over and over again."