A 6-month-old girl and a man were both wounded Monday in a shooting on Chicago’s South Side, as the man changed the baby’s diaper. The baby was initially in serious-to-critical condition, police said. The baby was in surgery Monday afternoon, but family said she was out of surgery Monday evening and doing better.
Her father, identified by family as Jonathan Watkins, 25, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was in serious-to-critical condition, police said. Police said he is a known member of the Gangster Disciples street gang.
There were conflicting reports as to the nature of the shooting. Police said it was a drive-by shooting, but relatives say a gunman approached the victims on foot and fired multiple shots before running away.
Soon after the shooting, police blanketed the neighborhood trying to round up witnesses and get information. Police say the adult male victim was a documented, known gang member.
People in the area were stunned that a 6-month-old was caught in the midst of violence.
“She ain’t nothing but 6 months old,” said grandmother Mary Young. “For anybody…what kind of heart,” she said, her voice trailing off.
Dominique Young, 21, Jonathan Watkins’ sister who was also nearby, heard “big gunshots” ring out, and ran toward the scene. She arrived to find the driver’s side window of Watkins’ tan van shot out and the passenger door open.
“They knew she was in there and they tried to take my niece’s life and it’s so wrong,” said Young. The shooter then fled into the alley, and possibly escaped in a blue conversion van, Mirabelli said.
A spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the girl was pronounced dead at 6 a.m.
“The city of Chicago should be outraged that in our city a 6-month-old baby could be shot and killed,” Brooks said outside the hospital. “It’s horrific, and for us not to speak out and for us to not say anything would be just as horrific.”
At times, Brooks’ voice cracked, and tears streamed down his face as he talked about the little girl.
Jonylah and her father, Jonathan Watkins, 28, were shot several times in Woodlawn Monday afternoon as Watkins was changing the girl’s diaper, police said.