BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- A service of hope and healing at First Presbyterian Church in Brunswick sent prayers to the family of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago who was shot and killed allegedly by two teenagers.
"I can't bring my son back, I love him, I love him dearly, but those are kids too," said Luis Santiago, the victim's father.
Two teenagers are in custody; 17-year-old De'Marquise Elkins and a 15-year-old are both charged with first degree murder. But even though the baby's mother Sherry West has said she wants the death penalty for the accused, Santiago has made room for forgiveness in his heart.
"I'm really just kind of mourning, that was my little boy and
I just want to tell the families out there too, in this community, the
little boys that did it that you know I forgive them and I just pray
that they will come to an understanding with God themselves." said Santiago.
The Service of Hope and Healing was led by prayer and then all who attended lit candles as a sign of love, hope, faith, and peace.
Mayor of Brunswick Bryan Thompson says this is the first time
Brunswick sees this kind of crime, with twoteenagersas the
suspectsrather thanthe victims.
"Any time that something like this happens and you have the two
that you have now at such young ages, people want to immediately find an answer they want to point a finger at this cause or this reason," said Mayor Thompson.
There are no answers of comfort. But Pastor Dawn Mayes hopes that this service will not only help residents heal but also take away their fear.
"We can let this violent crime divide us and if we do
evil has won instead we need to say no and stay united," said Pastor Mayes.