Mother of Shantasia O’Brian said cops told her shooting was accident

The distraught mom of a 17-year-old Queens girl shot dead while sitting in the passenger’s seat of a car told The Post Sunday that the gun may have fired accidentally when the gunman was fooling around with the weapon.

The 15-year-old suspect had the weapon with him in the back seat when Shantasia O’Brian was shot in the back, mother Karen O’Brian said in an interview. The alleged shooter was the younger brother of the victim’s boyfriend, who was in the driver’s seat during the deadly incident, O’Brian said.

“I don’t know what he was doing with a gun. It doesn’t make any sense, why do you have to play with a gun?” O’Brian said of the alleged teen shooter.

“And he was there with a gun and he shot her. The officer told me he was playing with the gun and it was an accident. It was an accident, but I lost my child and she can’t come back.”

The boy was charged Saturday with manslaughter, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and tampering with physical evidence, cops said.

O’Brian, 44, said authorities told her Shantasia possibly didn’t know the gun was in the car.

“So she got shot and didn’t even know what was going on,” she said from her Queens Village home.

The mother does not understand how the teen was “playing with the gun.”
Ellis Kaplan
Shantasia O'Bria
O’Brian’s daughter Shantasia was shot in back while in the passenger seat.
Ellis Kaplan

She said police also told her they don’t know more because the suspect’s parents lawyered up.

“So they don’t know where he got the gun from. They don’t know where the gun came into play,” O’Brian said.

“They don’t know what happened,” she continued. “They just know she was the passenger in the front seat and he was in the back, playing with a gun, and he accidentally shot her.”

All the more devastating, Shantasia was home for the weekend from Stony Brook University on Long Island where she was a freshman to celebrate her 18th birthday Saturday.

The night of the shooting, her mother planned on taking her out to celebrate. She now regrets picking her up Thursday to bring her home.

“And now I have this guilt on my conscience,” O’Brian said.

When she received a phone call from Shantasia’s cell phone shortly after 5 pm, instead of her daughter on the other line it was the teen’s boyfriend O’Brian didn’t know she had.

“He said, ‘Shanny’s been shot.’ I started screaming. I said, ‘Who’s this?’ and he wouldn’t say who he was,” O’Brian recalled.

“He said, ‘They’re taking her to the hospital.’ I said, ‘What hospital? What hospital?’ And he said, ‘When we find out we’ll let you know.’”

Shantasia O'Brian home
Shantasia was home for the weekend from Stony Brook University on Long Island.
Google Maps
Shantasia O'Brian mom
The teen’s boyfriend called her mother saying her daughter was shot.
Ellis Kaplan

Shantasia was rushed to Jamaica hospital via EMS where she was pronounced dead just before 6 pm

The aspiring pharmacist was excited about college, O’Brian said. Since elementary school, she never got into trouble and was a straight-A student.

“So this really hurts me that’s just it. That’s it? Shanny’s just gone and that’s just it? I can’t accept that. I don’t think it’s fair to her, either,” O’Brian said.

“This boy doesn’t know how many lives he ruined. My heart is in shambles.”

Shantasia leaves behind three siblings, including her baby sister who asked her mother why doctors couldn’t give her big sister a new heart to live.

“I tell her, ‘It doesn’t work that way.’ She said, “’Mom, I’m never going to see her again?’ I said, ‘No, Shanny’s gone. She’s gone.’ ”

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