Brunswick Residents Reclaim Neighborhood After Toddler Death - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Brunswick Residents Reclaim Neighborhood After Toddler Death

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BRUNSWICK, GA -

Another twist tonight into the shooting death investigation of a Brunswick toddler; it comes just as the community united in a "stop the violence" rally.

13-month old Antonio Santiago was shot and killed as his mother, sherry west, pushed him in his stroller last week.

West was also shot, but survived.

17-year old De Marquise Elkins and 15-year old Dominique Lang-- are both now charged with murder as adults in the case.

And tonight, a Brunswick city commissioner has been arrested and charged in connection with the investigation into shooting death of the toddler.

Police charged James Brooks with obstructing the investigation and influencing a witness.

According to his lawyer, Brooks says he was duped by the family of one of the murder suspects.

The sheriff's office says Brooks is being held in jail pending a court appearance.

They say time heals all wounds. Today, just eight short days after the child was shot and killed, the community is now picking up the pieces.

Neighbors, who play together, heal together and today, they did just that. They say they haven't forgotten the horrible crime that took place, but it's time to stop being afraid and start getting back to living.

"I sent three friends a message that said, ‘would it be crazy to have a block party this week?' And they said, ‘no try it!'"

Now, to Rachel Fitzpatrick's surprise, the word of the event spread like wildfire.

Clearly, a block party is exactly what the So-Glo community needed. Just a week after being rocked by the tragic death of a child, they are finally getting back to normal.

"I know there are people who have been fearful or really sad and upset about the whole situation," says Fitzpatrick.

"Those feelings are totally justified. It doesn't matter where we are from, what color we are; our diversity issues disappear when we are playing with each other."

Hanover Square-- it's just 4 blocks away from where it all happened. But the loss was still present, and so were the officers.

Greg Post is a major for the Brunswick Police Department.

"I think their main focus here was the children and to get them to see that we are not scared of things going on here. A lot of children are scared and unsure of what happened here. They want to support the children and show some positive things here."

While it's hard to forget, this community chooses to focus on the good. By coming together, they are not only re-energizing their neighborhood, they are reclaiming it.

Fitzpatrick hopes this event sends a message of hope to the children in her community. That home should be a safe place, surrounded by people who care.

"This isn't a subdivision, but it is a neighborhood. These kids need to know there are people like me who love them, and will take care of them, and will look out for them. It's a bright light in a dark situation, so we are ready to move past it and to heal."

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