Sherry West lost her 13-month-old son Antonio when two teens approached her, asked for money, and shot the child. Now West is calling for justice and wants the life of the young shooter taken in retaliation for the death of her own child.
"My baby will never be back again," West told New York Daily News. "He took an innocent life. I want his life, too."
West and Antonio were out for a walk when two teenagers approached and demanded that West give them money. When she explained that she had no money, one of the teens brandished a weapon and fired multiple times, hitting Antonio in the face and West in the leg.
The infant was pronounced dead on the scene, and the two teenagers fled. Authorities immediately began an investigation into the murder but came up empty-handed. Then, when looking through a series of mug shots, West identified 17-year-old De'Marquis Elkins.
"That's definitely him. He killed my baby and he shot me too," she reportedly told police. They immediately arrested Elkins and charged him with first-degree murder. Police also arrested a 14-year-old in connection with the killing but have not released his name.
"My brother wasn't anywhere near that area as far as we know– not the scene or the shooting. He couldn't do that to a little baby," Elkins' older sister told the Daily News.
"My client is absolutely, 1,000 percent not guilty," public defender Kevin Gough told the Associated Press.
Both teens have been tried as adults, which means they could face life-long sentences if convicted of murder.
"It's a shame that our children grow up around children like this and that children can actually grow up and do things like this," West told Piers Morgan during an interview. "I mean, people have to worry about children now, not just adult assailants."
This is not the first time West has lost a child to violence. Five years ago her 18-year-old son Shaun Glassey was stabbed to death.