The gang violence that has been plaguing Chicago has claimed yet another life Tuesday morning, and this time the victim was only 6-months-old.
The death toll in Chicago is continuing to rise due to gun violence and gang activity and the latest victim is Jonylah Watkins.
Jonylah was sent to the hospital for multiple gun wounds to her thigh, shoulder, lung, liver and bowels. The infant had to undergo a staggering three hours of surgery, but even that wasn’t enough to save her life.
“This morning, the baby passed away,” said Rev. Corey Brooks who is acting as the family’s spokesperson during this tragic time.
The 6-month-old was still at the Comer Children’s Hospital when she passed away from her injuries caused by the shooting which took place Monday afternoon in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
Watkins wasn’t the only victim of the attack. Her father, Jonathan Watkins, was the actual target of the attack and was also hit several times.
Jonathan was changing his daughter’s diaper in the front seat of his Chevy Venture minivan just before 1:00 pm when he was approached by a man who is believed to be gang affiliated.
Another minivan was parked nearby waiting for the shooter.
The father was shot in his side and buttocks before another bullet grazed his cheek. He was immediately taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition.
It turns out that Jonylah’s father is also gang affiliated which explains why he was the target of the vicious attack and why this wasn’t the first time his family has been targeted.
The alleged gang was successful at taking Jonathon’s daughter away from him, but they weren’t as successful when it came to trying to take his wife’s life as well.
The victim’s wife, Judy Watkins, had previously been shot by a man believed to be affiliated with the same gang as Monday’s attacker. She escaped the second shooting only because she was at work at McDonald’s when the event unfolded.
The couple only recently got married and has already lost their baby daughter. Meanwhile Jonathan’s condition still hasn’t made any substantial improvements.
Needless to say, the family is completely fed up with the amount of violence unfolding in most of the Chicago neighborhoods.
“There’s too much shooting over there,” said Mary Young, Jonylah’s grandmother. “She’s nothing but 6 months old. How could anybody – what kind of heart?”
Another relative spoke out saying that it seems like there are shootings in their neighborhood daily.
“There is always someone getting shot in this neighborhood,” Dominique Young told ABC Chicago. “We are close together, and we know them. There are killings all the time.”
While nobody has been put in custody for he shooting, police are assuring the friends and family of the victims that they are still investigating the matter diligently.
“There is another tragedy, because no child, certainly not an infant, should be a victim of gun violence,” said Police Supt. McCarthy on Tuesday. “We’re going to find who did this and make sure they are brought to justice. We’re not going to be afraid. We’re going to take back our neighborhood.”