Katharine Lackey, USA TODAY
Georgia police Friday charged two teens with murder a day after a 13-month-old boy was shot dead in his stroller and his mother was wounded during a holdup.
Seventeen-year-old De'Marquis Elkins was charged as an adult with first-degree murder, along with a 14-year-old who was not identified because he is a juvenile, said Brunswick Police Chief Tobe Green. They were arrested early Friday.
WTLV reports the mother, Sherry West, and her 13-month-old son, Antonio Santiago, were on a morning walk Thursday when they were approached by two suspects and shot after demanding money.
The boy's mother, Sherry West, told the older boy, who brandished a handgun, that she didn't have any money. He asked, Do you want me to kill your baby?" West told the Associated Press.
West said he fired the first shot into the ground, then shot her in the left ear and upper left leg. The gunman then walked around the stroller and shot her child once in the face.
Police have not identified the caliber of weapon used.
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.
Brunswick police checked the attendance records of area schools to see who was missing or absent from class Thursday, WTLV reported. The town is about 80 miles south of Savannah.
The Brunswick Police Department is "aggressively and actively searching for the suspects," Rhodes told WTLV.
West described the incident in a tearful interview with WAWS-TV of Jacksonville. "He said 'I'm going to kill you if you don't give me money,' and I said, 'I swear I don't have any,'" she said.
West said she tried to protect her baby, Antonio Santiago, but shots rang out. "I put my arms over my baby, and he shoves me, and then he shot my baby right in the head," she told WAWS-TV.
Rhodes told WJXT that the mother suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was in stable condition at a nearby hospital.
"She is cooperating as fully as she can possibly cooperate, providing the best information that she has, given what she has gone through" Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson told WJXT. "She is, for right now, the only eyewitness we have."
Brunswick police, who went door-to-door searching for the suspects Thursday, are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Rhodes said they have found no motive in the shootings.
The mother lives in a rented house in the Brunswick's Old Town historic district. Beverly Anderson's husband owns the property, and she told AP that West has lived there for six or seven years. Anderson said she spoke with her yesterday to extend her condolences and see if there was anything she could do for her.
"We're just very sorry about what happened and very aghast that something could happen in our little neighborhood," Anderson told AP. "It's a quiet, safe little neighborhood."
Anderson said people walk up and down the street, children walk to school and families are frequently outdoors. "It's scared everybody," she said. "They don't feel so safe outside."
She said West stayed home to care for her baby, who was often spotted in his mother's arms.
"The house has a front porch with a swing, and we'd see him out on the swing with his mother," Anderson said. "He was a happy, cheerful baby."
It's not the mother's first loss of a child to violence. West said her 18-year-old son, Shaun Glassey, was killed in New Jersey in 2008.
Contributing: The Associated Press; Michael Winter