BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Police with automatic weapons went door-to-door in a coastal Georgia town searching for suspects after a gunman opened fire on an infant as his mother pushed him in his stroller.
The suspects in the Thursday killing of the 13-month-old boy and wounding of his mother are thought to be from 10 to 15 years old, Brunswick Police Chief Tobe Green said.
"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,"' the mother, Sherry West, said in a tearful interview with WAWS-TV of Jacksonville.
She 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," West said.
She was recovering from a gunshot wound to her leg after the crime, which happened around 9:15 a.m.
"This is obviously a terrible day in Brunswick," Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson said. "Please call if you know something. You are complicit in this crime."
Antonio's father, Louis Santiago, told the TV station he wishes he could have been there to protect his family.
"He was special," Santiago said. "He had the bluest, bluest eyes."
Residents described the neighborhood south of downtown as normally quiet, though there have been some property crimes recently. The city is about 80 miles south of Savannah.
"This makes me very uneasy," Patricia Buie told The Brunswick News. "Now I am very concerned. It is making me want to move to the mountains."
Officers from a SWAT team checked vacant houses as investigators tried to find possible witnesses. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources provided a helicopter to aid the search.
Police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.