Mother IDs teens who shot baby in head

She begged suspects, 17 and 14, not to kill her baby
Associated Press
Mar 24, 2013

The mother of a baby shot dead in his stroller took one look at a teenage suspect's jailhouse mugshot Saturday and said he was definitely the killer. Yet an aunt of the teen said he was eating breakfast with her when the slaying took place.

Despite the conflicting stories, police have charged 17-year-old De'Marquise Elkins with murder, along with a 14-year-old suspect whose name has been withheld because he's a juvenile.

Brunswick police spokesman Todd Rhodes said even though Elkins' aunt provided an alibi, authorities have good reason to bring the charges.

"That's what she's saying, but the evidence we're looking at says something else," Rhodes said, though he would not elaborate.

Also Saturday, police in this coastal port city released 911 recordings from neighbors who sobbed and pleaded for help right after 13-month-old Antonio Santiago was shot in the head a few blocks from his mother's apartment.

Sherry West said she was pushing her baby in his stroller as she walked home from the post office Thursday morning. She said a teenager, with a younger boy behind him, approached and asked her for money. West said when she told him she had no money, the teen drew a gun and said: "Do you want me to kill your baby?"

The gunman opened fire and West was shot in the leg, while another bullet grazed her left ear, she said. She watched helplessly as the gunman shot her son in the face, she said.

Two teddy bears, a vase of flowers and a decorative cross had been left Saturday against a wooden fence near the shooting scene.

Katrina Freeman said Saturday the shooter can't be her nephew, Elkins, because he showed up at her house Thursday at 8:15 a.m. — roughly an hour before the killing. She said she cooked eggs, grits and sausage for breakfast and that Elkins accompanied her and her children to run errands when they left at about 11:30 a.m.

"He was with us the whole time," said Freeman, adding that she gave police the same account of her nephew's whereabouts. "There is no doubt in my mind that he is innocent."

The slain boy's mother said she picked the gunman out of a photo lineup of 24 mugshots police brought to her Friday. When a reporter showed her the photo of Elkins taken when he was booked into the Glynn County jail Friday, she wept and nodded.

"He killed my baby, and he shot me, too," she said.

At her apartment Saturday, West had filled several bags with her son's clothes and diapers to donate to charity. She said she hopes prosecutors pursue the death penalty in the case.

"My baby will never be back again," West said, sobbing. "He took an innocent life. I want his life, too."

In 2008, West's 18-year-old son was stabbed to death in an altercation in New Jersey. Prosecutors said the stabbing was self-defense and did not file charges.

In Georgia, police said they are still searching for the gun. No eyewitnesses have come forward.

In the 911 recordings, two callers said they heard gunshots and then saw West take her son out of his stroller, lay him on the ground and try to revive him using CPR.

"Yes, I heard the shots. Somebody shot this child," said one sobbing caller, who told the operator there were three shots fired. "She's got him on the ground. Please, we need everything we can get."

The 911 operators asked the callers if the boy was breathing. Finally, a man in a grave voice, answers: "No, the baby's not breathing." He says the child was shot "right between the eyes."

A woman can be heard screaming in the background just before police arrive. Sirens drowned out her cries.

Elkins' relatives said Saturday they don't know if he has an attorney. His older sister, Sabrina Elkins, said police arrested him as he came to her home Friday.

"The police came pointing a Taser at him, telling him to get on the ground," she said. "He said, 'What are you getting me for? Can you tell me what I did?'"

The suspect's sister said he returned to Brunswick a couple of months ago after living in Atlanta for a while. While he wasn't enrolled in high school, she said, he had been taking classes to earn his GED.

"He couldn't have done that to a little baby," Sabrina Elkins said. "My brother has a good heart."

 

 

Comments

starryeyes83

Simple, when you "called me out" by saying "how would I like" blah, blah, .... Those were your words ADDRESSED to ME - not an opinion.

Big difference.

starryeyes83

I stand by my remark ; get a rope and a tree...

Sandusky Register:

You need a history lesson : They used to hang white people . too .. so if your gonna moniter the remarks online -- why don't you moniter YOUR ADs better in the hard copy, especially one that has a guy with a girl on top and her bra nearly off ( for an adult store) ... don't you think that's a BIT RACY for a family newspaper?

Hmmm?

lor70

Simple Enough....I 100% agree with you....Maybe it's just this day in age that we would suspect something else....but my thing is....she was already packing up his clothes and diapers for charity...of course, people do strange things under circumstances....but that wouldn't be the first thing I would do....just my opinion though....I pray to God I'm wrong!

Mum-of-One

I am shocked by the mother's reaction too. I read the following in a report in the Atlanta Journal Constituion (www.ajc.com) -

"The slain child’s mother, West, spent time Saturday gathering up her son’s things — some to be donated and some to be packed away. The boy who loved Mickey Mouse and fried chicken was cremated, and West had them dispose of the ashes.
“I couldn’t stand the thought of seeing him in a box,” West said. The last time she saw her son was when he was put in an ambulance.

shucks

Very,very sad.

kURTje

Charge them with a hate crime. Killing a child is hate.

BlueAngel

sounds like the "Terry" boy...just someone else not wanting their child is all!

wiredmama222

What an awful story. This lady has lost TWO children to violence? ("In 2008, West's 18-year-old son was stabbed to death in an altercation in New Jersey. Prosecutors said the stabbing was self-defense and did not file charges.") This is just sickening.

I would think instead of making excuses for him, the aunt would be trying to help him understand what a terrible mistake he made. No wonder there is so much violence: no one wants to be responsible for their own actions anymore. There is always someone making excuses. Instead of helping, all they do is hinder. Facing facts should not be this difficult. You do the crime, you stand up like an adult.

Brainiac2007

I certainly hope this is the killer, and I hope this individual gets the death penalty! I feel they should quit hiding the identity of the 14 yr old boy, allow the mother of the slain baby to identify him also, then there would be no question in whether or not there's a mix up in identity! Stranger things have happened as far as the wrong person being accused for closely resembling someone else, but case in point the individual had another person with him.....and if the association between the two match then the aunt of the guilty person should also be charged for interfering in a murder investigation!

24productions

As I have children, and would simply, take a bullet for any of them...if not try to pass one the offenders way first. However, in the likeness of reality, and truth,...should?, or should not?, this young man be given a fair trial, before he's labeled a baby murderer? I AM not trying to start a ruckus,or even insinuate racism, but could this women have seen a black man with a goatee, and then saw the similar in the lineup photo, and simply put them as the same? Think about that...the ole' "They all look alike to me" profile, whether Asian, black, Latino, white,or any other likeness of a different race, may provide a bias opinion, or reference to the true killer.

TheGreatYoda

I think this lady shot her baby and is begging for attention.. THis is the 2nd time this has happend to her??

And she did an interview shortly after her baby was shot?

WTF!!

Why would you do that, I wouldnt want to be caught DEAD in front of a camera...

Something isnt adding up here!

24productions

.

24productions

The most significant difference between these races is:

(a) language
(b) hair and facial features
(c) skin color. This distinguishing feature is primarily due to difference in amount of the pigment, melanin, in the skin. This melanin protects the body by absorbing ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sunlight which falls on the skin. UV radiation can damage the skin and produce skin cancer if it is not filtered out in this way. The shades of color in human skin can be represented by the Von Luschan Scale and ranges from almost pure white to pure black.

Differences such as hair, skin and facial features are almost certainly inherited, but the way in which their inheritance is controlled is little understood, and definitely not simple. In skin color, for instance, 2 to 4 pairs of genes are involved. (Genes are the units in each cell of the body that carry inherited information) It is known that some of these genes produce lightness and some darkness. The brown skinned person has genes for both dark and light. The darker person has more genes for darkness and the lighter person has more genes for lightness.

These are the differences between us...anything else, IS PERSONAL.

24productions

...just saying...lets keep it legit people

4-wheeler al

dont matter what color a crime like that hangem by theballs guttem let the buzzards feed.

Sandusky Register Reader's picture
Sandusky Regist...

I was just in this Georgia coastal town this afternoon as a visitor and saw where this incident took place. It is a nice quiet town all American town. Whether this boy who is accused of doing such a thing is guilty or not will be determined in a court of law. But what I say is bring back the death penalty and take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and whomever is found guilty be shot down dead by the babies mother and have it witnessed by their mother/family.

lor70

Again, Great Yoda, I agree with you! Something just doesn't feel right....this is a young man whose life is also on the line! People need to hear all the facts before condemning him. Not saying he's innocent or guilty at this point....but we shouldn't be making this into a race issue at all....an innocent baby is dead! and hopefully the guilty will pay....not because of their skin color but because they have been PROVEN guilty with facts!

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