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Two teen boys arrested in shooting death of Georgia infant in stroller

BabyinStroller.jpg

March 22, 2013: This photo provided by Sherry West, of Brunswick, Ga., shows her son Antonio Santiago celebrating his first Christmas in December of 2012.AP

Two teenage boys were arrested Friday in the shocking shooting death of an infant, killed in the stroller his mother was pushing in a coastal Georgia town.

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, Brunswick Police Chief Tobe Green said.

The mother, Sherry West, was wounded in the apparent attempted robbery Thursday morning. The precise motive still is under investigation.

Officer Todd Rhodes of the Brunswick Police Department told FoxNews.com earlier that numerous tips had been received in connection to the shooting, and police had been going door to door searching for the suspects. Investigators also were checking school attendance records for leads.

Several nearby residents called 911 after hearing gunshots fired, but Rhodes said investigators believe the mother was the only witness to what happened.

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.

"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."

West was later transported to the Southeast Georgia Health System for medical treatment. She is expected to recover.

"This is obviously a terrible day in Brunswick," Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson said. “If you know something and don’t call, you are complicit in this crime.”

Antonio's father, Louis Santiago, told WAWS-TV he wishes he could have been there to protect his family.

"He was special," Santiago said. "He had the bluest, bluest eyes."

Residents described Brunswick — a city of roughly 15,000 about 80 miles south of Savannah — as normally quiet despite some property crimes of late.

"This makes me very uneasy," Patricia Buie told The Brunswick News. "Now I am very concerned. It is making me want to move to the mountains."

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. She still has a newspaper clipping from the time.

Glassey was killed with a steak knife in March 2008 during an attack involving several other teens on a dark street corner in Gloucester County, N.J., according to news reports from the time.

"He and some other boys were going to ambush a kid," Bernie Weisenfeld, a spokesman for the Gloucester County prosecutor's office, told the AP Friday.

Glassey was armed with a knife, but the 17-year-old target of the attack was able to get the knife away from him "and Glassey ended up on the wrong end of the knife," Weisenfeld recalled.

Prosecutors decided the 17-year-old would not be charged because they determined that he acted in self-defense.

FoxNews.com’s Joshua Rhett Miller and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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