Another heart-wrenching story of gun violence comes out of Chicago – the city President Barack Obama calls home, the city he visited just weeks ago to speak in support of the need to end gun violence. According to the Chicago Tribune, Jonylah Watkins, an infant, died Tuesday morning after she and her father were shot many times on Chicago’s South Side on Monday afternoon.
Six-month-old Jonylah was operated on for hours at Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital after being shot as her father was standing outside his minivan with the front door open, changing the baby’s diaper as she lay on the front seat. But she didn’t survive. Her 29-year-old father, Jonathan Watkins, remains in serious-to-critical condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on the city’s near north side after he was hit by bullets in his left side, right buttocks, and a graze wound to his head.
The person who pulled the trigger came out of a gangway somewhere in the 6500 block of South Maryland Avenue at about 1 p.m. when the incident occurred. The only word regarding the gunman is that he ran off to a nearby parking lot and got into a blue conversion van which quickly headed north through an alley.
The girl’s 20-year-old mother, it is being reported, was shot in the leg in the spring of 2012 when she was pregnant with Jonylah.
Police are reacting to a report that claims someone had threatened to kill Jonathan Watkins on Facebook.
The South Side of Chicago has seen far too many murders in the recent past. Chicago has been given the infamous label of being the murder capital of the country in recent times. Apparently due to the nationally-headlined 500-plus murders in the city of Chicago in 2012 accompanied by the late-January 2013 high-profile murder of high school student Hadiya Pendleton who performed during President Barack Obama's inaugural festivities in Washington, D.C. just days before her death. Soon after Pendleton's death, President Obama came to Chicago last month to talk about gun violence and the need for gun control.
While Chicago’s Superintendent of Police Garry McCarthy boasted to the media about gun violence decreasing last month, he also had to agree that February’s frigid temperatures and heavy snow falls likely contributed to the curb in gun violence on the streets. Now, warmer days are obviously ahead as the calendar heads into spring.