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.
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 Antonio, Brunswick Georgia, children, commentary, Crime and Justice, current-events, Elkins, Family, murder, news, perspectives, tragedy. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.