Baby Girl Dies After Being Shot 5 Times
By Samantha Abernethy in News on Mar 12, 2013 4:00PM
Jonylah Watkins was shot in the lungs, liver, bowel, leg and shoulder. Her father Johnathan Watkins, 28, was standing on a curb changing Jonylah as she lay across the passenger seat of the minivan in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
Police say the gunman came out of a gangway and fired at least 10 shots before he jumped into a blue conversion van and sped off. Watkins was shot in the left side and right buttock, and he suffered a graze wound to his cheek. Watkins remains hospitalized in serious-to-critical condition as he recovers from surgery.
This wasn't Jonylah's first brush with gunfire. When her mother Judy Watkins, 20, was eight months pregnant, she was shot in the knee.
Police Superintendant Garry McCarthy said the shooting has "strong gang overtones" and said Watkins "has an extensive criminal record and has been in and out of prison." According to the Sun-Times, police are investigating whether the shooting was related to "an angry post on Facebook."
"It appears he's the intended victim, exclusively the father," said McCarthy. Watch video of McCarthy's press conference below. Rev. Corey "Rooftop Pastor" Brooks is serving as the Watkins' spokesperson and said the discussion of Watkins' gang connection is "offensive to the community."
"For everyone talking about gang affiliation, I think our focus needs to be on the fact that a 6-month-old baby died," Brooks told DNAinfo. Brooks is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the gunman's arrest.
"The city of Chicago should be outraged that in our city a 6-month-old baby could be shot and killed," Brooks said. "It's horrific, and for us not to speak out and for us to not say anything would be just as horrific."