It was just another Thursday morning walk as a mother strolled her one-year-old baby, Antonio Santiago, on an early spring. But things went from normal to horrifying in what seemed like seconds. After being held at gun point, the baby was brutally shot in front of his mother off the Georgia coast. Teenager De’Marquise Elkins, who was 17 at the time, was the accused shooter of the baby in the stroller and now faces life in prison.
A judged moved the now 18 year olds trial far from the scene outside Atlanta where he is scheduled to appear in court. Having narrowly missed the death penalty, investigators say the teenager had one other accomplice, 15-year-old Dominique Lang, who is being tried at a later date. The two are accused of demanding cash from the mother, while Elkin is accused of firing a .22-caliber bullet into the babies head and another into the mothers leg.
While no one in the area saw the shooting take place, witnesses did hear the gunfire and watched as the mother attempted CPR on her young boy.
In what is already a horrifying story, Elkin’s lead attorney, Kevin Gough, was quoted as suggesting that the baby’s actual killers are the parents themselves.
“Other evidence of record suggests [that the mother] is mentally unstable,” Gough says, after she had given several different accounts of what actually happened on that horrible day. He adds that lab tests point to traces of gunpowder residue found from the hands of the young boys mother and father, Louis Santiago – but it is typically common for victims to have traces of bullet residue, especially if they came into contact with a wound.
But one account even claims that after the shooting, the mother called her 21-year-old daughter, Ashley Glassey asking how soon she thought she could receive a check from life insurance. But the daughter declined to confirm the story after Elkin’s lawyers reached her for comment.
While both sides conflict with the event, the mother was able to identify Elkins as the shooter to police, while his own family was able to lead investigators to substantial evidence against him, including the shooting and attempted robbery of another victim, Wilfredo Calix Flores, who had been shot in the arm by Elkins days prior to the killing of one-year-old Antonio Santiago.
With the teenager facing life in prison, the shocking killing of the baby in the stroller erupted in the small region of Brunswick, a city of about 15,000, and the trial was moved 325 miles outside Atlanta due to uproar amongst the area typically unknown for its crimes.
Having lost another older son to street violence prior, the mother of the little boy remembers the killer asking her, “Do you want me to shoot your baby?”
“It all happened so quickly,” she said, “I didn’t even know I was hurt,” referring to the bullet wound in her leg, and the missed bullet that cut the side of her ear.
While the family hopes to seek justice as the trail unfolds, Elkin faces life in prison for 1-year-old Antonio Santiago’s stroller killing.
Written by Annie Elizabeth Martin