Jonylah Watkins, 6-month-old baby shot to death, remembered at wake

Jonylah Watkins

March 18, 2013 8:50:00 PM PDT
Loved ones attended the wake Monday evening for one of Chicago's youngest victims of gun violence, 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins.

Jonylah's killer is still at large, but her family is preparing to bury their baby. A private viewing took at the Leak and Sons Funeral Home Monday evening. A public viewing followed from 6 to 10 p.m.

With her killer still at large, friends and family and complete strangers lined up to pay their respects at the wake.

"I'm just tired of all the violence. People killing the person they're not shooting at. An innocent baby dying," mourner Mario Duncan said.

The baby's parents left the funeral home within minutes, too distraught to linger at the emotional wake.

Jonylah was shot last Monday, when, according to police, a gunman emerged from the gangway in the 6500-block of South Maryland Avenue and opened fire on her father's minivan. Jonylah was sitting in Jonathan Watkins' lap in the driver's seat and was hit once.

"It just hurts. You see a little child laying in a coffin that little. I couldn't picture a baby going through that," mourner Diamond Childress said.

Police clearly believe that Watkins was the intended target of the shooting. At a press conference earlier, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy provided an update on the investigation. He said, police believe, the father knows more than he is telling.

"We think there is a lot more he can help us with, but he is cooperating with the investigation," said McCarthy. "We are going to close this case. There is no doubt in my mind."