By DON BABWIN
In this Monday, March 11, 2013 photo, Contoria Powers, cries while talking on a cell phone after her 6-month-old cousin, Jonylah Watkins, was shot five times while her father was changing her diaper in a parked minivan in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office announced Tuesday morning that the baby died from her wounds. Her father, Jonathan Watkins, remains in critical condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. (AP Photo/Chicago Sun-Times, John H. White) CHICAGO LOCALS OUT, MAGS OUT
CHICAGO (AP) — A 6-month-old Chicago girl who was shot five times while her father was changing her diaper died of her wounds Tuesday, authorities said.
Jonylah Watkins died at Comer Children’s Hospital, where she underwent surgery following Monday afternoon’s attack, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said. Her father, Jonathan Watkins, was also wounded and remained in critical condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Police on Tuesday were scouring the South Side neighborhood of Woodlawn, 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.
Jonathan Watkins was shot in the side and buttocks, and suffered a graze wound to his face. Jonylah was shot five times, in the thigh, shoulder, lung, liver and bowels, the family said.
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.