“It just makes no sense”- Family grieves after a 17 year old daughter is shot dead by boyfriend’s 15-year-old brother

One day before her 18th birthday, a teenage girl from a New York family was fatally shot by her boyfriend’s 15-year-old brother as they were riding in a car in Queens. The family is in mourning.

Mother of the victim Karen O’Brian stated on Sunday, September 4, “It just doesn’t make sense.” “It aggravates me. I’m enraged. I’m not sure how I’ll manage to function.

Shantasia O’Brian, a 17-year-old student at the College of Staten Island, was picked up by her family on September 2 so they could go out to a Bronx seafood restaurant to celebrate the teen’s birthday.

  ?It just makes no sense?- Family grieves after 17 year old daughter is shot dead by boyfriend?s 15 year old brother

“I was hugging her and she was hugging me,” said the girl’s grandmother, Joy Gobourne to New York Daily news. “I was crying and she was wiping away my tears, saying, ‘Don’t cry, Grandma. I love you.’”


In addition to being homesick due to being in school, Shantasia had just started dating a boy in the neighborhood.

A few hours before the family was due to leave for dinner, Shantasia texted her mother and asked if she could go to the park with a few friends, but promised she’d be back in time to get ready for the celebration at City Island Lobster House.

  ?It just makes no sense?- Family grieves after 17 year old daughter is shot dead by boyfriend?s 15 year old brother


Around 2:40 p.m., she climbed into the passenger seat of her boyfriend’s car, where his 15-year-old brother was in the back seat, according to police.


The trio then made their way to 136th Ave. near Brookville Blvd. in Laurelton.

  ?It just makes no sense?- Family grieves after 17 year old daughter is shot dead by boyfriend?s 15 year old brother


The boyfriend’s brother was playing with a gun, and it went off around 5 p.m. piercing the back of the passenger seat Shantasia was in.

After firing the shot, the brother got out of the car, tossed the gun and got back inside, New York police said.

Karen O’Brian received a call about 12 minutes later from a man, who she presumed was the new boyfriend she had not yet met.


“He said, ‘Shantasia’s been shot’ and then hung up,” O’Brian said.


The frantic mom repeatedly called back until someone finally picked up. This time, it was a woman’s voice, a police officer who responded to the shooting scene outside a house on the residential street.

A Medical team rushed Shantasia to Jamaica Hospital, but she could not be saved.

Police took two people into custody for questioning and ultimately charged the younger brother with manslaughter, weapon possession and tampering with physical evidence. His name was not released by police because he’s a juvenile.

On Sunday, September 4,Shantasia’s family gathered at the home she grew up in, where instead of holding a barbecue or celebration, they cried over  her death.

“She’s a smart girl,” O’Brian said. “She has a family who loves her. She’s not around guns.”

“She loved dance so much,” O’Brian said. “It broke her heart when she had surgery. She said, ‘Mom, when can I go back to dancing?’”

“She was a fighter,” O’Brian said.


The girl attended Queens High School of Teaching, where she played softball and became captain during her first year on the team.


Shantasia was one of four children including a 10-year-old sister and two siblings who had already graduated from college — a milestone their mother strongly encouraged.


“You have to go to college and make something of yourself,” O’Brian recalled telling her daughter.


Shantasia’s younger sister looked up to her and is still confused by her death.


“She doesn’t know how to process this,” O’Brian said. “She asked me, ‘Why can’t they give her a new heart?’”

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