Slain infant’s funeral set, father cooperating with police

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City-_Jonylah_death.jpgJonathan Watkins is pictured with his daughter, Jonylah. Both of them were shot Monday, March 11, 2013 in Chicago’s Woodlawn community. Jonylah died a day later. Her funeral is scheduled for next week. Police say the father is cooperating in the shooting investigation. Photo/Courtesy Facebook Jonathan Watkins

Police say that Jonathan Watkins is cooperating in the investigation into who shot the him and his infant daughter Monday.

Bullets struck Watkins in the side and buttocks, and suffered a graze wound to his face when he was ambushed in the Woodlawn community where he was visiting. He is recovering from his wounds at Northwestern Hospital. His 6-month-old daughter, Jonylah, died Tuesday after being shot in the thigh, shoulder, lung, liver and bowels, the family said.

Rev. Corey Brooks, pastor of New Beginnings Church and a spokesman for the family, said Jonylah simply had “too much bleeding.” The babies funeral is scheduled to be held March 19 at his church, located at 67th Street and King Drive.

Police called Monday’s shooting gang-related and said that Jonathan was the intended target. His family denies that the father is in a gang.

Police on Tuesday were scouring the area where the attack happened for security camera footage or any other clues as to who carried out the attack.

Witnesses said the gunman approached Jonathan Watkins at around 1 p.m. and opened fire on him while he was standing beside his minivan and changing his daughter’s diaper. She was on the front seat.

It wasn’t the family’s first brush with Chicago’s gun violence. The girl’s mother, Judy Watkins, was shot in the knee while she was pregnant with Jonylah, according to the woman’s mother, Mary Young.

“There’s too much shooting over there,” Young told reporters Monday. Speaking of her granddaughter, she added, “She’s nothing but 6 months old. How could anybody — what kind of heart?”

Chicago has seen a recent rise in gun violence — much of it gang-related — and registered at least 500 homicides last year for the first time since 2008. In 2011, there were 435 homicides.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told reporters Monday that homicides were down 26 percent this year, compared with the same period a year earlier. He was expected to give an update on the latest attack later Tuesday. 

Associated Press contributed to this report

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