BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Brunswick, population 15,000 with a per capita income of $23,400 a year, has been rocked by the economic downturn and elements of crime.
Residents Charles and Donna Earvin have lived there three decades and said Brunswick is not what it used to be. Thirteen-month-old Antonio Santiago was shot and killed in his stroller March 21.
"Everybody used to know everybody," said Charles Earvin.
Married 32 years, they've raised three children in this coastal Georgia community.
"It was nice back in the day," said Mrs. Earvin, "You didn't see all the crime you see today."
The Earvins blame a lack of trust in law enforcement for the crime problems.
"A lot of them wearing uniforms shouldn't be wearing uniforms," he said.
They also blame parents who they said refuse to teach and enforce strong moral values with their children.
"The kids think they can go out and do that they want to do," said Charles.
And they blame the community's problems on influence from outside gangs.
"It is for real, gangs are here," said Donna Earvin.
Charles Earvin added, "the kids can get their hands on weapons so easily."
When the sun goes down, said the Earvins, the dark side of their community comes out.
"We used to not lock our doors at night," said Donna Earvin. "Now we triple lock."
After living in Brunswick for more than 30 years, the Earvins said they're now planning to move to the country.
"I just hope that we can all come together as one," said Mrs. Earvin.
First Coast News