Police armed with automatic weapons went door-to-door Thursday in the Old Town section of Brunswick in an unsuccessful attempt to hunt down two children wanted in the fatal shooting of a 13-month-old boy and wounding of his mother as she pushed her child in a stroller.
Police had no motive in the attacks that occurred at about 9:15 a.m. near the intersection of London and Ellis streets, about two blocks from Glynn Academy
Police did not release names of the victims, but residents of the southside neighborhood that has been undergoing renovations of houses dating from the early 1900s said they thought the woman's first name is Sherri and her son's was Antonio.
Emergency medical personnel were dispatched Thursday on a report that a woman and child were having medical problems. When they arrived, they found that the woman had been shot in a leg and the child had been shot in his face, according to dispatchers.
The boy died at the scene. His mother was taken to the Brunswick hospital of Southeast Georgia Health System for treatment of what appeared to be a non-life threatening wound.
The suspects in the killing of the boy and shooting of his mother are thought to be between 10 and 15 years old, Brunswick Police Chief Tobe Green said, based on descriptions the wounded woman gave police.
The juvenile Green called the shooter is a black male, 13 to 15 years old, with curly hair and wearing a red T-shirt. The other child, who police characterized as an accomplice, is a black male, 10 to 12 years old, who was wearing a black shirt.
The search for the suspects continued throughout the day and spread out for blocks. Officers from the Glynn County Police Department's SWAT team checked vacant houses; deputies with the Glynn County and Camden County Sheriff's offices searched with canine units; and Brunswick police and Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents tried to find possible witnesses. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources provided a helicopter to aid the search.
"We are still in the early stages of this investigation," Green said. "We are urging the public to contact the Brunswick Police Department's Silent Witness line (267-5516) if they have any information." Green said a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
The shooting visibly troubled Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson when he spoke at a news conference on the front steps of Old City Hall.
"This is obviously a terrible day in Brunswick," Thompson said. "Please call if you know something. You are complicit in this crime if you have information and you are not giving it."
Residents of the blocks around the shootings said it stunned them. Neighbors said the area is normally quiet, and the only crimes are occasional property crimes.
The killing of an infant and wounding of his mother has shaken Patricia Buie's faith in the neighborhood south of downtown, where she has lived for more than 20 years.
"This makes me very uneasy," Buie said. "Now I am very concerned. It is making me want to move to the mountains."
Wally Mathis, who lives on Union Street, about a block from where the shootings happened, said crime in recent years has been on the rise there. Just six months ago, his house was burglarized, and no arrest has been made.
"There is a lot more crime than there used to be," Mathis said.
He said if Antonio was the child victim, the world lost a smiling baby with beautiful blue eyes.
"I always said he had (actor) Paul Newman eyes," Mathis said.
Neighbors said if the victims were who they thought they were, the child's parents lived separately and that the father had gone to the hospital to be with the boy's mother.
Downtown resident Thea Ramirez was jogging Thursday morning when she saw police cars speed by. As the mother of three young children, Ramirez said the shooting was a wake up call.