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Antonio Santiago Shooting Update: Police claim to find bullet fired in Ga. baby killing

This photo provided Friday, March 22, 2013 by Sherry West, of Brunswick, Ga., shows her son Antonio Santiago celebrating his first Christmas in December of 2012. West says a teenager trying to rob her at gunpoint Thursday asked "Do you want me to kill your baby?" before he fatally shot 13-month-old Antonio in the head. West was walking with Antonio in his stroller near their home in coastal Brunswick. The mother was shot in the leg and says another bullet grazed her ear. Police are combing school records and canvassing neighborhoods as they search for the gunman and a young accomplice a day after the slaying Thursday. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Sherry West) Sherry West

Antonio Santiago
Sherry West
(CBS/AP) SAVANNAH, Ga. - Investigators are looking at a possible gang tie in the slaying of Georgia toddler Antonio Santiago and said Thursday that a bullet used in the shooting has been recovered.

Pictures: Ga. baby fatally shot in stroller

More search warrants were executed Wednesday night, though Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering didn't say specifically what evidence might have been found.

The chief did reveal Thursday that investigators have recovered the bullet they believe was fired in the killing of the 13-month-old as his mother strolled him down a sidewalk on March 21 in Bruswick, a town on Georgia's coast. The bullet and a .22-caliber handgun, which was found submerged in a pond 2 miles from the crime scene, are now being analyzed at a crime lab.

Two teenagers have been charged as adults with murder and other counts.

When asked directly whether it's possible the shooting was a part of a gang initiation, Doering wouldn't go that far, saying investigators are exploring "whether gang involvement is part of this."

Police are concerned about the safety of witnesses in the emotionally charged case, the chief said. However, he pleaded with people who have information to come forward, and to put aside their fears in the interest of justice.

"We know there are still witnesses out there, people who have information," Doering said.

An indictment returned this week accuses 17-year-old De'Marquise Elkins of shooting the toddler in the face.

Elkins' attorney, Kevin Gough, has said his client is "absolutely, 100 percent not guilty."

A second 15-year-old suspect is also charged with murder, though prosecutors say they believe it was Elkins who shot the child and wounded his mother in an attempted robbery.

The police chief said attempted robbery charges also were filed but nothing was taken during the killing. It still appears the slaying was random, Brunswick police said.

The few details contained in the indictment seem to back up the story the slain baby's mother, Sherry West, has repeated to numerous reporters: She was pushing her baby in a stroller when two youths approached asking for money. West says when she refused, the older teen drew a gun and shot her in the leg before shooting her son in the head.

The suspect's mother, Karimah Elkins, and older sister, Sabrina Elkins, were charged with evidence tampering. The indictment says they threw the revolver that police suspect was used in the shooting into a saltwater pond where investigators recovered it Tuesday.

Karimah Elkins and the suspect's aunt, Katrina Elkins, were also charged with making false statements to police.

Complete coverage of Antonio Santiago's shooting death on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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