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Baby's death marks 2nd time Georgia mom loses a son to violence

By Michael Martinez. Tom Watkins and Nick Valencia, CNN
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Mon March 25, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Victim is cremated and remembered in a private service, his mother says
  • The 13-month-old was shot dead in Brunswick, Georgia; 2 teen suspects are in custody
  • 911 tapes reveal horror of neighbors who saw the aftermath of the shooting
  • The mother's 18-year-old son was stabbed to death in New Jersey in 2008

Brunswick, Georgia (CNN) -- The fatal shooting of a 13-month-old boy in his stroller marked the second time mother Sherry West lost a son to violence, she said Saturday.

Her 18-year-old son was stabbed to death in 2008 in New Jersey, she told CNN.

"This is the second child that people have taken from me in a tragic way," West said. "I'm so afraid to have any more babies now. I tried to raise really good kids in a wicked world."

The day after two teenage boys were arrested and charged in the fatal shooting of her baby, West said she was planning to leave Brunswick and return to New Jersey. The boy's father has also been emotionally 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."

Police say De\'Marquise Elkins, 17, will be treated as an adult in criminal proceedings.
Police say De'Marquise Elkins, 17, will be treated as an adult in criminal proceedings.

A private memorial service was held Friday morning for young Antonio Santiago, who was cremated, according to West. She said the family is working with the Catholic relief organization Society of St. Vincent de Paul to help with unforeseen expenses.

West put Antonio in a stroller Thursday because it was good exercise for her heart, said West, who added she was disabled from a past car accident.

"I just took a walk with my baby," West 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.

"Apparently, either he targeted me or I was just unfortunate," she said of her encounter with the gunman.

West said the incident occurred at 9 a.m. Thursday as she was walking home from the post office.

2 teens arrested in shooting of baby
Parents of slain baby speak out
Mom: My son was 'innocent and helpless'

She said she saw two boys, and one asked for money. When she told them she didn't have any, one of the boys shot her in the leg and then her son in the face.

Police Chief Tobe Green identified the older suspect as De'Marquise Elkins, 17, and said he will be treated as an adult in criminal proceedings. The 14-year-old was not identified because of his age.

Both have been charged with first-degree murder, police said, though no arraignment date has been set.

As of Saturday, authorities still had not found the murder weapon, police spokesman Todd Rhodes said.

But they were able to track down the two suspects aided by a description from West and others, as well as a check of school attendance records to determine who was not in class Thursday. Officers then searched for the two teens and took them into custody, police said.

911 calls reveal witnesses' horror

Earlier Saturday, police in the coastal city released to CNN three recordings of 911 calls about Thursday's shooting.

"A baby has been shot!" one woman said in a 911 call.

The exchange with the emergency operator was emotionally charged.

"Listen to me, ma'am! Is the baby breathing?" the operator replied.

"I don't know," the woman said.

The woman began to cry.

In the background is public wailing on the corner of London and Ellis Streets, in a stately cluster of Victorian-style houses with wrap-around porches.

Baby shot dead in stroller; 2 Georgia teens charged

"Listen to me!" the operator said to the weeping woman. "We have people en route. Did you hear shots in the area?"

Yes, she heard shots, she said.

"Be calm," the operator said. "How many shots did you hear?"

"I heard like three shots. And the baby has been shot in the head," the woman said.

The woman was so distraught that she passed her cell phone to a man walking his dog.

"No, the baby is not breathing," the man told the operator.

"The baby was shot in the head?" the operator continued.

"Yes, right between the eyes," the man said, who added he earlier heard a "small caliber clap."

As he spoke, police sirens arrived on the scene, and the man broke off the phone call.

CNN's Nick Valencia reported from Brunswick, Georgia, and Michael Martinez and Tom Watkins wrote this story from Atlanta. CNN's Jason Evans contributed to this report.

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