ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – For Elisa Hernandez, no meant no – and a tragic death at age 15.
When a frustrated suitor named Alfred Bishop asked her for a kiss, she refused him. Again and again, he asked. She said no. When he pulled out a revolver and pointed it at her head, she pushed it away.
“She laughed him off,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Jeffrey Blitz said.
The rejection cost her dearly: After being rebuffed, Bishop shot her through the eye, cutting short the life of a bubbly, self-assured high school sophomore who loved hip-hop and dancing and went by “Lisa,” according to authorities.
“She was just joyful, a funny, outgoing person who didn’t care if people talked about her,” said friend Barb Parred, 21. “But something she didn’t want to do, she wouldn’t do it.”
Bishop, 21, fled after the shooting late Tuesday. Alfred Bishop, 21, was arrested in Washington, D.C. and is being held without bail.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” said the victim’s mother, also named Elisa Hernandez, 32. “I think there’s more to it than this. My feelings tell me that.”
On Tuesday night, the teen walked across the courtyard from the Brigantine Homes housing project unit she shared with her parents, both casino workers, and two siblings to visit with friends.
She was already inside apartment 880A visiting with three girls who lived there – their mother, the only adult in the household, wasn’t home – when authorities say Bishop arrived.
Diagnosed as schizophrenic at age 10, Bishop had recently split with his girlfriend of six years and quit taking his medication because it made him sleepy and sluggish, according to his mother, Lisa Bishop, 40.
He had been drinking and smoking marijuana earlier that night, said Lisa Bishop, who talked to her son by telephone after the killing.
Alfred Bishop, who served a year in prison for aggravated assault by auto and was released nearly two years ago, was at the apartment because he had stored some of his belongings there, according to Blitz.
After some casual conversation in the kitchen, Bishop tried to get Hernandez to kiss him, but she laughed at him, according to Blitz.
Bishop then pulled out the gun, put it to her head and again demanded a kiss, Blitz said. According to witnesses, she said no and pushed the gun away twice before he shot her through the left eye and fled, Blitz said.
Hernandez died at the scene.
“He told me he did it and it was a big mistake and he loved me and was sorry to put me through all this,” Bishop’s mother said.
His lawyer, Joel Mayer, said Friday that Bishop didn’t intend to shoot. He said Bishop was a non-violent man, an assertion also made by Bishop’s ex-girlfriend, Nicole White, 22.
“I’ve been with him for six years and he never pulled a weapon on me, and we’ve been through everything,” said White, the mother of Bishop’s 3-year-old daughter.
“He was never violent. We had our ups and downs, but he never hurt me.”