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The 6-month-old infant girl shot five times on Chicago’s South Side Monday died in the hospital Tuesday morning.

Jonylah Watkins was rushed to Comer Children’s Hospital Monday afternoon in serious-to-critical condition after being shot in the 6500 block of South Maryland Avenue in the city’s Woodlawn neighborhood around 12:48 p.m. Her father, Jonathan Watkins, had been changing her diaper in the front passenger seat of a Chevy Venture minivan when a gunman approached them and opened fire. He fled in a waiting van.

Jonylah had sustained wounds in her lung, liver, leg, shoulder and bowel or intestine, according to DNAinfo Chicago, and had undergone at least five hours of surgery.

(Read a Wednesday update on the search for Jonylah’s killer.)

“This morning, the baby passed away,” the Rev. Corey Brooks, who is acting as a spokesman for the family, told the Chicago Tribune. “We have another tragedy in the city of Chicago.”

“The city of Chicago should be outraged that in our city a 6-month-old baby could be shot and killed,” Brooks added Tuesday, according to DNAinfo.

Brooks told the Tribune his Woodlawn-based New Beginnings Church would offer up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Jonylah’s killer. Another community group also agreed to chip in $1,000, bringing the total reward to $6,000.

Jonylah’s father was also wounded in the shooting — being struck in the side and buttocks, plus a graze wound to his cheek — and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition. According to NBC Chicago, he remains in critical condition as of Tuesday morning.

Jonathan Watkins told the Chicago Sun-Times Tuesday that he has no idea who opened fire on him and his child, but sources told the paper that the shooting was possibly prompted by an angry Facebook post.

Police say the father has known gang affiliations, a claim Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy took up in a Tuesday press conference, according to the Associated Press:

He said police weren’t sure yet whether Watkins will decide to cooperate in the investigation. … “No child, certainly not an infant, should be a victim of gang violence,” McCarthy said. … “He was obviously targeted,” McCarthy said of Jonathan Watkins. Police were trying to determine whether a reported Facebook post threatening Watkins actually exists, McCarthy said.
Jonylah’s mother, Judy Watkins, was previously shot while carrying the child. She was working at McDonald’s at the time of the Monday shooting, according to the Tribune. Judy and Jonathan had recently gotten married.

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called Jonylah’s murder “senseless” and “despicable,” according to DNAinfo.

A relative of Jonylah’s, Dominique Young, told ABC Chicago that gun violence has been commonplace in the neighborhood, saying, “There is always someone getting shot in this neighborhood. We are close together, and we know them. There are killings all the time.”

No one is in custody in the shooting as of Tuesday afternoon and police are investigating.

Gun violence in Chicago has earned the city national media attention, even as its homicide rate in February plummeted to a 56-year-low. Previously, in January, 40 homicides were reported by police.

Prior to the shooting on Monday, Superintendent McCarthy touted that shootings in Chicago so far this year are down 19 percent compared to last year, according to NBC. Homicides, McCarthy said in a press conference, are also down by 26 percent compared to 2012.

Jonylah’s slaying reportedly inspired a surge of submissions to the “500 Project,” a social media campaign launched by Chicagoan Bryant Cross. The campaign aims to make a message of anti-violence more visible.

15 Responses to *TEARS*

  • Anonymous says:


  • Sammy Sam says:

    Oh no this is so sad!!!! Condolences to the family of that sweet baby! I hope they find that animal who did it!!

  • fashiondoll says:

    So sad, the :babygirl should not have to pay the ultimate price :( .

    Hhmmmm The police said the father has known gang affiliations

  • Jules says:

    I prefer live inna cave dan inna some a dese innercity neighbourhoods. The people dem hab no self-control. A how many times dat gunman shoot suh fi bullet lick fi pa how many times and di baby 6.

    Another innocent soul gone widdout a chance, maybe fiddi best at di end of di day.

  • Brightlight says:

    Sad indeed but he was their target and he knew what kind of lifestyle he lives. baby shouldn’t even deh round his stupid ass! When they catch you and open fire they don’t care who is in the midst. I don’t get ppl because even if you don’t have a formal education you should have some f—ing common sense. Now a baby die fi yuh f—ery that u involved in!

    No lie sometimes black ppl sick mi f—ing stomach wid di warring wid one anadda! Imagine over social media at that!

  • milikeit says:

    Never was given a chance to live, after fighting off other sperm to fertilize her mother’s egg to snuggle in the womb for 9 months, so some f— tard dranko stinking gangbanger can kill her within 6 months of life on earth. A f—ING SHAME!! And i bet you this was because of some black on black bullshit.

  • Foxy Lady says:

    No respect for life, no love of humanity, no desire to survive until old age, no qualms about being housed in the penitentiary. That is the way of life. That is the mentality. Kill or be killed. White people do not care, they leave them over there on the other side of the track to kill off each other. Why should they care anyway?

    damn duppies!

  • LUNDUN says:

    this is very sad, poor innocent baby.

    you mean to tell me sumbody shot them up knowing a baby was present?

    what a wicked act, this is terrible. the hearts and minds of men have become so hard.

  • Original Goodas says:

    no man, money talk, more group need fi come up wid some more money cause if the money right some one will talk… lord father please to come and come quick because a evil spirit is in the air. mankind a get evil and evil. While i’mn sure the child wasnt the target unu no wait till unu hold the father one a way and do wah unu affi do, a so me know me would a turn vigilanty and walk and kill every mumma bloodklaat if me was the mother

  • milikeit says:

    Jonylah’s mother, Judy Watkins, was previously shot while carrying the child. She was working at McDonald’s at the time of the Monday shooting, according to the Tribune. Judy and Jonathan had recently gotten married.

    This serious beyond belief, the mother was shot before while carrying the child. This bitter bad, when people decide dem nuh business who deh roun yuh, dem just waan yuh dead this really SERIOUS.
    Probably the father killed somebody and it’s payback time at all costs, who fi dead, dead. And who fi live, live. Sound familiar.

  • Observer says:

    RIP lil Jonylah

  • talkthetruth says:

    So sad, RIP to the baby x

  • Just Saying says:

    I am waiting to see if the father or another witness will come forward and “snitch” on this baby killer. People want gun violence to stop, yet they are not willing to help put these perptrators behind bars. I understand people fear retaliation, however it can be done anonymously.

  • Sensational says:

    God will wipe away every tears from their eyes. What kind of a

  • Does not make sense says:

    This is so sad for some reason I really feel its the parents that had something to do with this

    1 how he get shot in the butt and grazed in the cheek “they were not targeted” the baby was targeted I mean did he try to get away while his child was being shot numerous times no look at the face, car, plates (i dont think so)

    2 its very ironic that the mother was shot while carrying the cild come on people mainly the police investigator
    Please look at the parents for the answers in my opinion she is with God and in a better place wicked people burn and suffer for this one

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