Video takes center stage in trial for woman accused of shooting 16-year-old during argument in front of Westside gas station

Opening statements began Tuesday in the trial for Shaetavia Cooper.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Opening statements began Tuesday in the trial for Shaetavia Cooper.

Cooper is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 16-year-old Teneria McClendon.

Video from the shooting in July 2020 shows what happened outside a Wawa gas station on 103rd Street.

The video shows Cooper with a gun and McClendon falls to the ground.

In court on Tuesday, attorneys played the video for jurors to see. Both the state and the defense said the video clearly shows what happened.

In the video, Cooper walks toward McClendon and the other girls she was with then Cooper backs away, points the gun at McClendon and fires.

The state said the video shows Cooper took it too far. The defense said Cooper acted in self-defense and they asked the jury to pay close attention.

“I was standing there with my arms out saying these are teenagers, then she spit and she shot her like she was nothing,” Teneria McClendon’s mother Sharonica Eady said.

McClendon’s mother took several pauses on the stand.

The state said Cooper used unreasonable force in shooting McClendon.

McClendon was with her mother and five other teenage girls. Some of the girls took the stand Tuesday.

The state’s witnesses said they couldn’t recall what the argument was about.

The defense referred to prior testimony, saying McClendon’s cousin Nyindia Lane testified that McClendon said to her “you know they are laughing at us,” referring to Cooper. Lane said she didn’t remember McClendon saying that. The defense said McClendon’s mother testified that “that was the first time I have ever seen my child be that upset.”

The state called another friend of McClendon’s who said McClendon spit at Cooper but it didn’t land on her.

The defense built some of their questions around McClendon being angry and her mother having to hold her back trying to diffuse the situation.

They said according to the video, instead of the group of girls leaving to go to their car on the right side of the store, they went to the left, following Cooper.

The state also called a witness who said he rendered aid to McClendon after she was shot.

He said Cooper looked like she was in shock and said, “I can’t believe I shot her.”

The defense filed a Stand Your Ground petition last year that was denied.

About the Author:

A Florida girl and North Carolina A&T SU grad who thrives in breaking news.