Too Depraved to Be Indifferent

Story of the week in Georgia is the shooting of a one-year-old in his stroller when mysterious daçoits accost his mother and demand money.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A pair of teenagers was arrested Friday and accused of fatally shooting a 13-month-old baby in the face and wounding his mother during their morning stroll through a leafy, historic neighborhood in southeast Georgia.

Sherry West had just been to the post office a few blocks from her apartment Thursday morning and was pushing her son, Antonio, in his stroller as they walked past gnarled oak trees and blooming azaleas in the coastal city of Brunswick.

West said a tall, skinny teenager, accompanied by a smaller boy, asked her for money.

“He asked me for money and I said I didn’t have it,” she told The Associated Press Friday from her apartment, which was scattered with her son’s toys and movies.

“When you have a baby, you spend all your money on babies. They’re expensive. And he kept asking and I just said ‘I don’t have it.’ And he said, ‘Do you want me to kill your baby?’ And I said, ‘No, don’t kill my baby!'”

Authorities said one of the teens fired four shots, grazing West’s ear and striking her in the leg, before he walked around to the stroller and shot the baby in the face.

If true, this is one of the most depraved things I’ve ever heard of. But the writer in me has to wonder. No eyewitnesses, a town like Brunswick where Jim Crow ain’t even past, white victim and black kids… it all seems too pat. I’m reminded of the story 20 years or so ago when a guy in Boston claimed that random black people had killed his wife, when in fact he’d done it himself.

The behavior of the mom is curious as well. Granted, people do all kinds of odd things when they grieve—but the day after the baby was shot, she was giving his things away to Goodwill. She gave a lot of interviews that day, too.

Also, the mom lost a teenage son to street crime five years ago: her son was dealing drugs, a dispute arose, the son went after the customer with a knife, the customer took the knife away and stabbed the son. It was ruled self-defense.

So at some point, you have to wonder if the story she told is the real story. She herself was wounded, but only superficially. One boy’s family swears up and down that he was at home when the killing happened, but of course they would. Stay tuned.

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  1. Savannah Baby Shooting: Not So Fast | Julian Cage
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