A Brooklyn woman who shot her ex-girlfriend of 20 years dead in broad daylight on Wednesday was arraigned for murder on Thursday while her family revealed she has mental health problems and was holding a grudge after splitting up with the victim three years ago.
Latisha Bell, 38, shot dead her on-off girlfriend of 20 years, Nichelle Thomas, 52, in Park Slope, an affluent area of Brooklyn, on Wednesday afternoon.
She walked up to Thomas and put a gun to the back of her head then pulled the trigger and fled the scene.
Bell later handed herself in to police. She walked into a police station and told the cop on duty: ‘I am turning myself in for the homicide. The gun is inside the bag. I need to talk to the homicide detective. I did the shooting.’
On Thursday, her sister told DailyMail.com that she had been suffering mental health problems for years.
Scroll down for video
Latisha Bell, 38, shot dead her on-off girlfriend of 20 years, Nichelle Thomas, 52, in Park Slope, an affluent area of Brooklyn, on Wednesday afternoon
The sister, who did not want to be named, even laid the blame with the victim, claiming she wouldn’t leave her sibling alone.
‘My sister’s been dealing with mental issues for a very long time.
The other party was aware – I’m so sorry she had to go through this. I’m sorry both of them had to go through this.
‘My sister doesn’t deserve this. She tried to leave her alone but the woman kept coming back to her.
‘Every time she saw my sister doing well she kept going back to her, knowing that she’s mentally disabled.
‘They had a long going domestic violence issue – when my sister left she should have just kept on going.
‘You don’t play with the mentally ill,’ she said.
She claimed Nichelle caused her sister to lose custody of her son several years ago and that is what caused them to break up.
She also said there was a more recent incident which drove her sister to kill her, but she would not reveal what that incident was.
Bell turned herself in to cops at the 78th Precinct with her lawyer present. She has been charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon
Thomas was unsuspecting as Bell stalked up behind her and shot her in the back of the head, according to the footage
Latisha’s sister told DailyMail.com on Thursday that the pair had a history of domestic disputes and violence. She did not want to be named
The scene of the shooting on St Marks Place in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on Thursday
‘Something happened that I don’t want to discuss – something really did happen that was traumatizing to my sister – she just couldn’t deal with it anymore.
‘She realized that she was using her for her own good. She felt she couldn’t take it.
‘Enough is enough,’ she said.
Nichelle had two children of her own. It’s unclear how old they are or who she had them with.
It’s also unclear how Latisha was able to get her hands on a gun, or if her mental health problems are documented.
New York is a red flag law state which means anyone with a history of mental illness cannot legally buy a firearm.
The former couple had lived together for 20 years in an apartment near the deli outside which Thomas was shot.
Mayoral candidate Eric Adams went to the scene of the shooting on Thursday. He used it to speak about gun reform
Thomas still lived there but Bell moved to the Bronx three years ago.
During their relationship, police were called to the Brooklyn apartment 13 times for domestic disputes.
Bell also has three prior misdemeanors, but it’s unclear what those are.
Bell was remanded in custody on Thursday.
Her attorney asked for a psychiatric evaluation and medical attention.
She will return to court on April 27.