Police: Pre-teen suspects kill infant in stroller in Brunswick, Georgia

4:11 PM, Mar 22, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Mother recalls baby's murder

Video: Police: No clear motive in baby shooting

 

Update: Two teens have been arrested

Brunswick, Ga. (USA TODAY) -- Police are searching for two young suspects in Brunswick, Ga., on Friday after a shooter opened fire on an toddler being pushed by his mother in a stroller, killing the 13-month-old boy.

At a press conference Friday, Brunswick Police Spokesman Todd Rhodes said officers have received more than 30 leads in the case and are encouraging citizens to come forward if they have any information on the shootings.

"We will not rest until somebody has been arrested for this senseless act," Rhodes said.

WTLV reports the mother and her toddler were on a morning walk Thursday, when they were approached by two suspects and shot, Brunswick Police Chief Tobe C. Green said.

The two suspects are described as black males, one between the ages of 13 and 15 and the other between the ages of 10 and 12.

Rhodes said the toddler was shot with a handgun, which has not been recovered, according to CNN.

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 are checking the attendance records of area schools to see who was missing or absent from class Thursday, WTLV reported.

The Brunswick Police Department is, "aggressively and actively searching for the suspects," Rhodes told WTLV.

The mother, Sherry 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, 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," Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson told WJXT. "Given what she has gone through. 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

Katharine Lackey, USA TODAY

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