Toddler Tragedy

Antonio West, 13 months, who was shot to death Thursday morning by, his mother said, a young teen who demanded money of her. Photo provided by Sherry West.

The young victim in this terrible tragedy (property of Sherry West)

In the past, I never much cared for the term “senseless violence” because honestly, isn’t all violence senseless?

Then I read about Sherry West of Brunswick, Georgia, a recent victim of violence that claimed the life of her 13-month-old son, Antonio. And if ever there was an example of senseless violence, this would have to be it.

Thursday morning, West put her young son in his stroller and went out for a walk. Ever since a car accident left her disabled, she has tried to get regular exercise to strengthen her heart, and this seemed like the perfect time. It was early enough that most of her neighbors would be going to work soon, so the streets would be pretty clear.

West ran a few errands and ended with a quick stop at the post office before starting for home. As she made her way down the road, she noticed two young boys approaching her. The oldest boy—17-year-old De’Marquise Elkins—asked West for money while his 14-year-old friend—the as-yet-unidentified and smaller of the two—simply stood behind him.

And Elkins had a gun.

“I told him I didn’t have any money,” West said later. “And he said, ‘Give me your money or I’m going to kill you and I’m going to shoot your baby,’ and I said, ‘I don’t have any money… and don’t kill my baby.’”

Elkins started to grab West’s purse and then suddenly shot her in the head, sending her to the ground. Fortunately, the bullet just grazed her, but his second shot hit her squarely in the leg.

Then the unthinkable happened.

Elkins walked over to Antonio’s stroller, raised his weapon and shot the defenseless toddler in the face before fleeing. West performed CPR to try and save her young son, but it was too late. Antonio was dead.

The cold-blooded killer, Elkins (courtesy of Glynn County Detention Center)

The cold-blooded killer, Elkins (courtesy of Glynn County Detention Center)

Now West has lost two sons to senseless violence. Her first was stabbed to death in New Jersey in 2008. He was 18 years old.

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

Wicked is only the tip of the iceberg, I’m sorry to say.

Elkins and his young accomplice are now in custody and have both been charged with first-degree murder. And as happy as I am to report that Elkins will be treated as an adult in the impending criminal proceedings—Georgia does have the death penalty, so there could be a lethal injection in his future—the sad fact remains that even justice can’t replace the young life that was taken from Antonio, his mother and everyone touched by this tragic tale.

Rest in peace, young prince.

Posted on March 24, 2013, in Family, Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. People Piss me off, just to put it bluntly. How in the hell did this world come to this. If she didn’t have any money, she didn’t have any money. They should NOT have shot her and her child. I am sorry to hear that she has lost to children already. While, I don’t usually believe in the Death Penalty, chances are this isn’t his first victim and even if it is, chances are that it won’t be his last. These two juvenile delinquents need some severe psychiatric help of consequences, and I think that giving them the death penalty instead of Life, and I mean LIFE in Prison is giving them the easy way out, they should have to live with what they did for the rest of their lives and as long as they’d naturally live. I’m so sorry for this mother’s loss. May her children Rest in Paradise and Peace.

    • Thanks for the great comments, pangirlbrit. I like the idea of these guys living with their sins, too. The death penalty might just be doing them a favor…

      • You’re Very Welcome, and I don’t usually believe in the Death Penalty, not because of taking lives, but because of the fact that people who get put to death, don’t have to live with what they did, and it’s not really justice in my eyes. They should definitely live with what they did and be constantly reminded of it everyday.

      • Amen to that! 🙂

  2. They should charge the Aunt as well, there is such a thing as accessory after the fact for those who assist in attempts to conceal a crime or in criminal. While they’re at it where’s mom and dad while this sociopath is running loose in the streets bust’n caps and tak’n lives? I’d be willing to try and talk the states attorney into charging them with reckless endangerment and involuntary manslaughter. The 14 year old should also face adult charges. Maybe with his family and friend with him in jail De’Marquise can figure out where he screwed up before they put his sorry ass to rest. Lethal injection is way to tame for this fine example of todays youth maybe they work out a deal with a state that still has one of those electric powered chairs… What kind of a monster thinks shooting a baby makes him a man?

    • I asked myself that same question, Marty. And it seems both boys are going to be paying a price. I think they were both convicted and will be facing some serious jail time.

      Thanks for the comments, my man!

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