QUEENS, N.Y. (PIX11) — A Queens mother is trying to navigate the justice system after the shooting death of her 17-year-old daughter Shantasia O’Brian.
The teen’s mother, Karen O’Brian, has been going to family court where a 15-year-old is facing charges in the case.
“Where is the justice for Shani?” O’Brian said.
Shantasia was home from college over the Labor Day weekend. She went out with friends, including a 17-year-old boyfriend and his 15-year-old brother. While in the car, Shantasia was shot.
Police believe it may have been an accident, but the mother said she hasn’t been able to get the truth from anyone. The 15-year-old is not talking and is not required to by law because of his age.
“I’m not the victim. It seems like he is the victim. When I go in the court house, it’s like they are protecting him,” O’Brian said.
The mother has been back and forth to family court waiting for answers as to exactly what happened to her daughter. O’Brian added, “They are giving these juveniles or minors a right to kill.”
The 15-year-old alleged shooter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, among other charges, but the case is in family court and O’Brian said so far the teen has been offered 18-months probation on a plea deal.
“The justice system is even worse. It’s as if they are killing Shantasia all over again,” O’Brian said.
Teens shooting teens is a serious issue the NYPD has been dealing with. From January to September of 2021, 75 teenagers shot 93 people under the age of 18.
In 2022, during the same time period, 98 teenagers pulled the trigger and victimized 119 teens.
Now, O’Brian believes most of the teenage offenders are getting a slap on the wrist.
The mother said something needs to be done, questioning how many other 17-year-olds will have to lose their lives.