Mother of slain baby on CNN: ‘I just hope … that the shooter dies’

CNN’s Piers Morgan last night interviewed Sherry West, mother of the 13-month-old child—Antonio Santiago—who was shot to death last week in his stroller in Georgia. Sometimes spellbinding television springs from the simplest of requests: “Tell me what happened to you last week,” Morgan said to West.

She responded with a long and detailed account of the incident, one that any abridgment would shortchange. Here it is:

I was walking home from the post office from mailing a letter and I was 5 minutes from my home. I was approached by a young man and some other boy that was hiding behind him, and he yelled at me, give me your money, and I proceeded to tell him that I don’t have any. And he shot — pulled out a gun and shot at the ground.

And I didn’t see any shells, so I thought the gun was a cap gun or a bee-bee gun. I thought he was using a toy gun to scare me. Then he shot at my head and the bullet grazed my ear and the side of my head. And then he shot me in the leg. And I still thought that it was a fake gun. And you know, neighbors had BB guns, and it stung. I injured my leg moving furniture days before and I was on pain medicine, so I didn’t feel it. But I felt stinging. And then it got numb. And I didn’t realize, you know, that it was real. It didn’t look like a real gun. And apparently he kept asking me and I kept telling him I don’t have any.

And he shot my baby in the face. And then I knew it was a real gun. And I screamed and I was scared to scream because I thought he was going to shoot me in the head and not miss that time. And then when I kept screaming for someone to call the police and the EMT, he shoved me and grabbed me and then he ran. And then I wasn’t sure if he was gone, but I quickly, limping, wheeled my baby into a yard next to me, into the gate.

And I took him out of the harness and I laid him down on the ground, and I proceeded CPR. And I saw his lungs inflate, but there was no pulse, no pulse, and I kept proceeding with CPR and I still couldn’t get a pulse. And finally the police arrived and a policeman took over clearing the airway and continuing CPR. And they couldn’t get a pulse. But the EMTs arrived and they took my baby in the ambulance to work on him.

And they wouldn’t let me see him and they just kept working on him. And nobody knew if he was alive or dead. And I limped the whole way over to the ambulance where they placed him and the detectives and the police asked me why I was limping. And we weren’t sure. I looked at my knee and there was nothing wrong. And then they said pull your pant leg all the way up, and I was shot in the leg, in the thigh, and didn’t realize it. So they had to call another ambulance to take me to the hospital.

Two teen suspects have been charged in the case. Morgan asked West if she had any doubts that the police have caught the right people. No, she replied. “I just hope, you know, that the shooter dies. I had to watch my baby die. And I want him to die, a life for a life.”

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