A 16-year-old New York City girl was murdered after rejecting a mid-twenties male who wanted to date her.

Taariq Stephens, 25, faced the Brooklyn Supreme Court on 11 December oncharges of second-degree murder and weapon possession. If found guilty, he could spend the rest of his life in jail.

He allegedly murdered Shemel Mercurius in May 2016 while she was babysitting a three-year-old cousin at her Brooklyn apartment. Mercurius was shot multiple times with a machine gun, the court heard. The toddler was found by police covered in blood and crying.

The pair had met at a daycare centre a week earlier and exchanged numbers, according to New York Daily News.

A New York City police officer arrived at the scene and waited with Mercurius, who was still alive at the time. She told the police officer it was Stephens and that she had recently declined his offer to date.

The ambulance took 20 minutes to survive. Mercurius died a short while later at a local hospital.