By Evan Bleier, Tue, March 12, 2013
Six-month-old Jonylah Watkins and her father were shot while he changed her diaper on Monday afternoon. She was immediately rushed to Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago and is in serious-to-critical condition. The shooting comes just months after the girl’s mother was shot – while she was pregnant with Jonylah.
Jonylah was shot five times, including in the lung, liver, leg and shoulder.
Rev. Corey Brooks is serving as a spokesperson for the family. He stood with the girl’s mother on Monday evening and addressed the press. “This mother is really hurt. We need everyone in Chicago praying for this family right now,” Brooks said. ” … For a baby to get shot is despicable. Whenever anyone shoots a baby, that’s a cowardly act.”
The baby’s father, Jonathan Watkins, was brought to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and is also in serious-to-critical condition, reports DNA Info. Watkins, 28, is a member of the Gangster Disciples street gang, according to police. Chicago Police spokesman, John Mirabelli, said that Mr. Watkins was shot a number of times by a man who emerged from an alley. The shooter quickly fled the scene and was picked up by a waiting minivan.
Casha Moore, the girl’s aunt, was nearby at the time of the shooting. “It was so loud,” she said. “So, so loud. It was a big gun.”
Police have not offered a motive for the shooting, but there is speculation that it was gang-related. A local church, New Beginnings Church of Chicago, is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone who brings information on the shooting to the police that leads to an arrest.
The little girl’s grandmother, Mary Young, had a message for whoever committed the crime. “I just want whoever did this, they are very cowardly, and they should turn themselves in,” she said.
Update: The girl has died.