Person of Interest Questioned in Shooting Death of Chicago Baby
(CHICAGO) — Police are questioning a person of interest in the fatal drive-by shooting of a 6-month-old Chicago baby, reported ABC’s Chicago station WLS-TV.
Jonylah Watkins was shot five times, along with her father, Jonathan Watkins, 29, in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood on March 11. Watkins was changing his daughter’s diaper in a car when police said someone fired on the pair.
Jonylah’s parents held hands at a news conference Sunday as their pastor, Corey Brooks, said they hoped that whoever killed their baby would be brought to justice.
“We think that every day it is going to happen. Every single day we are hopeful and thankful, you know, that it is going to happen,” Brooks said, as reported by WLS. “We are hoping that it will be in the next 24 hours.”
A Chicago police spokesman declined to comment to ABCNews.com, citing the ongoing investigation.
Baby Jonylah became the face of Chicago’s gun violence epidemic when she was sprayed with bullets almost three months ago by an assailant who police said they believe was targeting her father.
The 6-month-old was treated at Comer Children’s Hospital, where she died of her injuries the next day.
“This is another tragedy, because no child, certainly not an infant, should be a victim of gang violence,” Garry McCarthy, Chicago’s police chief, said after the shooting. “Although there are a lot of angles that we’re pursuing, there are very strong gang overtones to this particular event.”
Police said Jonathan Watkins had known gang affiliations, but Brooks, his pastor, said that Watkins was not affiliated with any of Chicago’s four major street gangs, and had not been in trouble with the law since 2007.
As Watkins stood behind Brooks on Sunday, the pastor said the 29-year-old had been inspired to better his life after the fatal shooting of his daughter.
“Jonathan has been very cooperative. He has worked with the police diligently, and he wants the person to be caught,” Brooks said.
“He’s working now. The fact that he’s getting a GED, all of that stuff, was not happening before,” he said. “Even though this was a horrific thing that happened, we are going to try to do our very best to make their life a better life.”
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