Skip to main content

Suspected baby shooter's mom, aunt, arrested

By Nick Valencia, CNN
updated 1:37 PM EDT, Tue March 26, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Mom, aunt accused of "false statement or writings"
  • NEW: Investigators in the case find a weapon, trying to determine if it's linked to the shooting
  • Two teenagers, ages 17 and 15, are accused of murder in the baby's death
  • Sherry West demands "a life for a life;" "I had to watch my baby die and I want him to die"

Brunswick, Georgia (CNN) -- The mother and the aunt of one of the two teenage boys accused of fatally shooting a 13-month-old baby in Brunswick, Georgia, have been arrested, according to documents in the case.

Seventeen-year-old murder suspect De'Marquise Elkins' mother, Karimah Aisha Elkins, 36, and his aunt, Katrina Latrelle Elkins, 33, are accused of "false statements or writings," among other charges, the complaint said.

Authorities held both women in the Glynn County Detention Center until they were released on $1,104 bond.

Katrina Elkins also was held for an unrelated probation violation.

Also Tuesday, police investigating the case found a weapon and are trying to determine if it is connected to the shooting, a Brunswick police spokesman said.

De\'Marquise Elkins
De'Marquise Elkins
Mother of slain baby: I hope shooter dies
Hear 911 tapes from Georgia baby case
Mom: My son was 'innocent and helpless'

Last Thursday, Sherry West told reporters she was pushing her baby in a stroller in broad daylight when two teenagers approached her. One demanded money and pointed at her what West first thought was a fake gun. But he fired at her, missing her head and hitting her in the leg, West said, and then the teen shot her baby in the face.

Both of the suspects were charged with murder last week, and made their first appearance in court Monday.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit, his hands and feet shackled, the 15-year-old listened as Glynn County Judge Timothy Barton read him his Miranda rights. The younger suspect is not being identified because of his age.

Previously, the boy's age was reported as 14.

Authorities have not yet said whether the teen will be considered a juvenile or adult, and the teen did not enter a plea.

Asked if he had any questions, the teen told the judge, "no sir."

The 15-year-old's mother, Brenda Moses, said her son was "just a witness," and that "he didn't do anything wrong."

"My feelings go out to the mother, and the baby and my baby," Moses said. "They've handled this investigation wrong, and the truth is going to come out."

Baby shot dead in stroller; 2 Georgia teens charged

Elkins also did not enter a plea when he appeared in court Monday.

He was dressed in regular clothes, but his hands and feet were handcuffed and he wore a belt shackle.

Elkins' attorney, Jonathan Lockwood, spoke for him during the appearance.

When he arrived in the courtroom, the teen turned to his mother, Karimah Elkins, and nodded.

At the end of the appearance, she said, "I love you, Marquise."

"I'll never hear his first word'

West said she was her way home Thursday from the post office last week when she was confronted by the teens.

"I thought he was just using a toy gun to scare me. And then he shot at my head, and the bullet grazed my ear and the side of my head, and then he shot me in the leg, and I still thought that it was a fake gun," she told CNN's "Piers Morgan Live."

"He kept asking me (for money), and I kept telling him I don't have any," she said. "He shot my baby in the face, and then I knew it was a real gun."

West, 42, said she started screaming. She took her son out of his harness and started CPR. She saw his lungs inflate but couldn't get a pulse, she said.

Police and medical personnel took over when they arrived, West said, but it was too late. Her son died.

"I'll never hear his first word," West said.

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

West has said she has no doubt that authorities have her baby's killer in custody: "It's definitely him."

"I just hope, you know, that the shooter dies. I mean, I had to watch my baby die and I want him to die. A life for a life," she said.

Immediately after the shooting, detectives searched her home for a gun and conducted gun residue tests on both her and the baby's father, West said, adding that the tests were negative and the search did not turn up a gun.

Citing the ongoing investigation, police spokesman Todd Rhodes declined to comment when asked about the search and those tests.

West also said she gave a detective a jacket she was wearing at the time of the shooting. She told police she was grabbed or shoved briefly by the suspected shooter, and they hope to lift a fingerprint off the jacket, she said.

This isn't the first time West has lost a son to violence.

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

"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."

911 calls reveal witnesses' horror

Police in the coastal city of Brunswick 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.

She began to cry.

"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, adding that he earlier heard a "small-caliber clap."

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

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:39 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Sean Connery says "yes," whilst David Beckham says "no." See what the famous are saying about Scotland's referendum.
updated 10:51 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
On September 18, Scots go to the polls to vote on the future of their country. Here's what you should know.
updated 11:01 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
This is "Flames of War," a slick and ominous new video from the ISIS media center.
updated 3:03 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
updated 8:38 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN that no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him.
updated 11:08 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Mulatu Astatke is the founding father of ethio-jazz: a fusion of Ethiopian music with western jazz.
updated 9:11 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
updated 1:03 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
updated 9:42 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
It's a surfer's paradise -- but Diah Rahayu is out on her own when it comes to professional women's wave-riding in Bali.
updated 6:04 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT