In a Georgia courtroom last month, Sherry West wept as she recounted the death of her infant son, Antonio Santiago, who was shot in broad daylight by a teen demanding money. "I tried to stop him. I put my arms over my baby, but he still shot him," she said.
On Friday, 18-year-old De'Marquise Elkins was found guilty of felony murder and is facing life in prison as he awaits sentencing.
Less than 24 hours before the verdict came down in Elkins' case, 1-year-old Londyn Samuels was shot to death in New Orleans while in her babysitter's arms. Police say the bullet exited through the babysitter's chest, striking and killing Samuels.
And on Sunday, 16-month-old Antiq Hennis was fatally shot in the head while his parents pushed his stroller down a Brooklyn street.
Three unrelated incidents, in three different places, but they all ended the same: Three babies dead, three families left mourning.
'A beautiful baby'
In an old photo, Antiq Hennis is all smiles. The young boy has a ball cap on and is pretending to ride a toy ATV. "He was such a beautiful baby," Lenore Steele, his great-grandmother, told CNN affiliate WCBS. "Smiling and talking with everybody."
Sadly, the shooting that ended little Antiq's life is shrouded in mystery: The baby's father, Anthony Hennis, has been in trouble with the law before, but an NYPD spokesperson declined to elaborate when reached by HLN. NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly also stated that the police believe Anthony Hennis was the intended target, and they currently are pursuing a person of interest. Despite the leads, the NYPD said there have been no other developments to share.
Whatever the reason for the shooting, people in the community are outraged.
Anthony "Tony" Herbert, a local activist and president of the Brooklyn East Chapter of the National Action Network, said he is working with the family and other community members to process this tragic event.
"Naturally, because a 1-year-old child is shot in our community, the community is up in arms and people are dismayed," Herbert said. "It's stupidity."
Herbert said that, shortly after the slaying, he was contacted by a friend of the child's family and the child's mother, Cherise Miller, who was "paralyzed with pain" and "too grief-stricken to leave her house" Monday, according to WCBS.
"They are devastated," Herbert said of Antiq's family. "And unfortunately when this kind of violence is brought upon their family, there are fears of retaliation." He went on to say he has heard of an unverified motive for the shooting, and when asked why he believed this account of the events, he replied simply, "That's what the streets are telling us."
Aside from the grief, aside from the outrage, the important thing now, Herbert said, is to find out who shot Antiq and bring them to justice.
"We do support the calling of the police department, in them putting up a reward," he said. "And we are doing whatever is necessary to encourage those who saw something to come forward."
'She was my precious little girl'
Andrea Samuels has made great strides. A graduate of the Cafe Reconcile program, a New Orleans culinary training program for at-risk youth, the 22-year-old is now employed in the restaurant industry. She also helps train other students at Reconcile.
Last Friday, she held her head and cried during a press conference as community members talked about her daughter, 1-year-old Londyn Samuels.
Londyn died Thursday.
Her 18-year-old babysitter was shot twice on a New Orleans street. One of the bullets exited through the woman's chest and struck Londyn, killing her.
The community immediately rose to comfort the Samuels family. Glen Armantrout, CEO of Reconcile New Orleans, said the day after her daughter was killed, Andrea Samuels sought refuge with her Reconcile family.
"The community is obviously devastated, to say the least," Armantrout said. "There is a lot of natural feelings that come along with this, but at Andrea and (her co-parent) Keion's request -- they are very adamant about it -- they don't want anger surrounding this."
They are receiving a lot of support, Armantrout said. "It's overwhelming, they're trying to be somewhat private. But they also do understand that there is a great good that can come out of this."
Keion Reed, who helped raise Londyn, spoke at Friday's conference. "I just want to thank everybody for your support," he said. "She was my precious little girl. She was my world. She was my everything."
A Twitter account that appears to belong to Reed is flooded with condolences. "The world ain't right," one message reads. "How could anyone shoot a baby. Sending prayers up for you."