Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Baby boy shot in head and killed, mother injured, by two boys in Georgia

(Updated. See below)
Antonio West, age 13 months

A mother was walking her baby in a stroller, in Brunswick, Georgia, when she said that two boys, ages 10-15 years old, tried to rob her at gunpoint.  They then shot the baby in the head, killing him, and shot the woman in the leg, before fleeing.  The victim, age 13 months, was named Antonio West.

From an article:
The mother, Sherry West, told WAWS-TV that two boys approached her and demanded money Thursday morning while she was walking near her home in Brunswick, about 80 miles south of Savannah. 
West said she insisted she didn't have any money and tried to protect her son, Antonio, before one of the boys opened fire. 
"I put my arms over my baby and he shoves me, and then he shot my baby right in the head," West said. 
West was shot in the leg.  ... 
Police spokesman Todd Rhodes gave few details about the investigation Friday, but said no weapon has been found and that investigators were checking school records for leads. 
Several people in the neighborhood called 911 after they heard the gunshots fired, but Rhodes said investigators believed that the mother was the only witness to what happened. Rhodes described the neighborhood as safe. 
"Understand this: There is no clear motive right now," he said. 
He urged anyone with information to call Brunswick police. There is a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. 
Officers from a SWAT team checked vacant houses as investigators tried to find possible witnesses. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources provided a helicopter for the search. 
A sketch artist from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was being sent to Brunswick.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Shooter De'Marquis Elkins, age 17
UPDATE:  The two boys have been arrested, ages 14 (revised to 15, see next update) and 17.  From an article:

Seventeen-year-old De'Marquis Elkins is charged as an adult with first-degree murder, along with a 14-year-old who was not identified because he is a juvenile, Police Chief Tobe Green said. 
Police announced the arrest Friday afternoon after combing school records and canvassing neighborhoods searching for the pair. The chief said the motive of the "horrendous act" was still under investigation and the weapon had not been found. 
The mother, Sherry West, wept Friday while she told The Associated Press that she
pleaded with the gunman and a younger accomplice who approached her Thursday morning while she walked near their home in coastal Brunswick. 
Dominique Lang, age 15
"He asked me for money and I said I didn't have it," she said. "When you have a baby, you spend all your money on babies. They're expensive. And he kept asking and I just said 'I don't have it.' And he said, 'Do you want me to kill your baby?' And I said, 'No, don't kill my baby!'" 
West said the gunman fired four shots, the first into the ground. West didn't see a shell casing ejected and she assumed the gun wasn't real. 
Then he fired at her head and the bullet grazed her left ear — she has a small scab and bruising there. He fired again and shot her in the left leg above the knee. "I didn't know I was hurt." 
"The boy proceeded to go around to the stroller and he shot my baby in the face," she said. 
"And then he just shoved me when I started screaming and he ran down London Street with the little boy."  ....
It's not the mother's first loss of a child to violence. Sherry West said her 18-year-old son, Shaun Glassey, was killed in New Jersey in 2008. She still has a newspaper clipping from the time. 
The articles don't say how the boys got the gun or ammo.

UPDATE (3/25/13):  The other boy, who is actually 15 years old, pleaded not-guilty, according to a CNN article:

Wearing an orange jumpsuit, his hands and feet shackled, the 15-year-old listened as Glynn County Judge Timothy Barton read his Miranda rights. Previously, the boy's age was reported as 14. 
Barton didn't indicate if the teen would be charged as a juvenile or adult, and the teen did not enter a plea. His name is not being released because he is a minor. 
Asked if the teen had any questions, he told the judge, "No sir." ... 
The boy's father has also been distraught, West said. 
Asked about the person who shot her son, Antonio, West stated: "I hate you and I don't forgive you. 
"You killed an innocent human life," she said. "I hope you die for it." ... 
West said she put Antonio in a stroller Thursday because it was good exercise for her heart, adding that she was disabled from a car accident. 
"I just took a walk with my baby," she said. "I can't believe that this would happen, and I left early in the morning. I thought, you know, that there would be less people on the road and I wouldn't be in anybody's way walking down that road.
UPDATE (4/18/13):  The 15-year old is identified as Dominque Lang.  Both of the teens accused of the robbery and shooting are pleading not guilty.  From the article:
Police arrested both teenagers within a day of the shooting. Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering has said information from Elkins' mother and older sister helped lead investigators to a small saltwater pond where they recovered a .22-caliber handgun suspected of being used in the slaying. 
Elkins has also been charged in a second shooting and robbery attempt 10 days before the baby was killed. An indictment says Elkins pointed a gun at Wilfredo Calix-Flores while demanding his cellphone and wallet, then shot the man in the arm with the same caliber gun used to kill the baby.

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