Chicago Infant Shot 5 Times in Driveby Dies


Patrice Ellerbe, Staff WriterLast Modified: 02:57 a.m. DST, 14 March 2013

Baby Jonylah Watkins, Chicago Infant, Unsolved Homicide

CHICAGO, Illinois - When the words, “There is always somebody getting shot in this neighborhood…” become normal, there is clearly a problem that is not being solved.

On Monday, 11 March 2013, 6-month-old, Jonylah Watkins was shot while her father had been changing her diaper in the families mini-van. According to the Huffington Post, the infant died Tuesday morning in a Chicago hospital.

The Huffington Post reports the infant was rushed to Comer Children’s Hospital on Monday afternoon in serious critical condition. The father of the child, Jonathan Watkins, was also shot and wounded during the drive-by.

The infant had bullet wounds to the lung, liver, leg, shoulder, and intestines, the Huffington Post states. According to DNAinfo Chicago, at least five hours of surgery had been performed since Jonylah’s arrival to Children’s Hospital.

Jonathan Watkins was struck in the side as well as the buttocks, and grazed on the cheek. Another van waited as the shooter fled the scene moments after the deadly shooting. When police arrived on the scene Watkins was immediately transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition, the Huffington Post reports.

The spokesman for the Watkins’ family, Rev. Corey Brooks, announced the infants passing in a statement to the press on Tuesday, 12 March 2013. “We have another tragedy in the city of Chicago”, says Brooks. He continues with, “The city of Chicago should be outraged that in our city a 6-month old baby could be shot and killed”.

A reward for the capturing of the killer has been donated by Brooks’ New Beginnings Church out of the Woodlawn neighborhood and another community group. The reward is set at $6,000 as of now.

Jonathan Watkins spoke to the Chicago Sun Times on Tuesday, stating he was unaware of who could have targeted him and his daughter, and their reasons why. Other sources informed the Times that it could have been a result of a Facebook post. According to CNN, the infant’s father has gang affiliations that may have prompted the shooting.

The Associated Press released a statement form Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy that stated police were not certain about Watkins’ cooperation in the case. The police department feels Watkins was targeted and is investigating the alleged Facebook post.

The Huffington Post reported the mother of the infant, Judy Watkins, was shot while carrying the child. During Monday’s shooting, she was working at McDonald’s. The couple had recently got married, reports read.

Dominique Young, a relative of the family spoke to ABC Chicago. “There is always someone getting shot in this neighborhood. We are close together, and we know them. There are killings all the time.” Attention has been brought to the city of Chicago because of it rising homicides.

In January alone, 40 homicides were reported by police; followed by 56 in February. According to McCarthy, compared to last year’s statistics, homicides are down by 26 percent.

A social campaign established by Chicago native, Bryant Cross, has been flooded with submissions since Jonylah’s shooting. The campaign focuses on getting the message of anti-violence out to citizens.

An arrest has not been made in connections to assault of Jonathan Watkins who is in critical condition, or the fatal shooting of his infant daughter, Jonylah Watkins.

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Twitter: @nahmias_report Staff Writer: @PatriceEllerbe