Police arrest 2 teens in Brunswick toddler slaying

Published On: Mar 22 2013 04:18:17 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 22 2013 11:10:00 PM EDT

Grief .. sadness .. shock .. anger .. in a south Georgia town tonight. A child, Antonio Santiago, shot to death .. two other children .. teens .. now charged with his murder.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -

Police say they have arrested two teens -- 17- and 14-years-old -- in connection with Thursday morning's shooting of a mother and her toddler in Brunswick's South End. 

Thirteen-month-old Antonio Santiago was killed. The mother was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Friday afternoon, Brunswick Police Chief Tobe Green said De'Marquis Elkins (booking photo, below) and a juvenile that he would not name were arrested early Friday morning on a charge of first-degree murder.

Green said investigators have not found the gun used, but that three search warrants were being served Friday afternoon in connection with the case.

"We're trying to turn every stone to try to determine a motive," Green said. 

The mother of the toddler told Channel 4 that she was pushing her son in a stroller when they were confronted by two young boys who demanded money, then opened fire when she reached for her purse.

"He shot me in the ear and grazed my head... and then he shot me in the leg," said Sherry West. "Then he walked over and shot my baby in the face. He must have died instantly."

Police say the boy did die at the scene. West (pictured, below) was taken to the Brunswick campus of the Southeast Georgia Health System with gunshot wounds  She was back home Friday morning talking about the shooting.

"He was a beautiful baby, West said on her son. "Quietly inquisitive, independent, loud, sometimes quiet. Loves Mickey Mouse and Disney movies."

The Brunswick police say they received 30 tips since the shooting and they continue to ask for more information.

IMAGES:  Brunswick crime scene, manhunt

West, the only witness to the shooting, described the shooter as a black male between 13 and 15 year old wearing a long sleeve red shirt, 5-feet 7-inches to 5-feet 9-inches tall, with curly hair last seen running east on London Street.  Police said he was with a second boy, shorter and wearing a black shirt and who looked to be a couple of years younger.s

Law enforcement personnel with dozens of local and state agencies -- some with with automatic weapons -- went door-to-door in a 100-block area of Brunswick into the evening Thursday, searching for the two suspects.

Brunswick police offered a $10,000 reward for "information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for this horrific act."

Shortly after police announced they had arrested the two teens, Channel 4 met up with the boy's father, Louis Santiago.

"I just went and saw my son. I touched him and kissed him," said Santiago. "I know he's just a body. His spirit's gone."

Santiago said he is relieved the two teens were caught.

"I'm relieved they caught, but I'm not relieved my son will not come back," said Santiago. "I'll tell these kids I forgive them, I'll pray for you all, but you have to pay the consequences," said Santiago.

He adds that this was senseless and could have been avoided.

"I'm trying to keep cool about this. I don't know. It hasn't sunk in yet," said Santiago. "It's just overwhelming. Now, I have to look at things and keep the memories."

"I forgive them, but they're going to have to pay for the consequences," he continued. "They took somebody I really love. I was going to enjoy my life with him. We had plans for college and everything."

Anyone with any information about the case is asked to call Brunswick Police Department's Silent Witness line at 912-267-5516 or the Glynn County Police Department's Silent Witness line at 912-264-1333.  Information can also be emailed to bpdtips@brunswickpolice.org.

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