Community members unite to catch man who fatally shot baby

Residents in the Woodlawn neighborhood gathered Tuesday night to remember the baby who died early Tuesday after being shot Monday.

The grieving community turned their anger and sadness into a call for action. They are determined to catch the killer.

6-month-old Jonylah Watkins was shot multiple times Monday afternoon as her father changed her diaper inside a van. Police say the gunman blindsided his intended target, 25-year-old Jonathan Watkins, and killed the baby instead.

The spot where the baby died is covered with messages of love and loss.  Residents stood united tonight and passed out fliers spreading the news about a killer on the loose.  Some mothers shared their feelings, having lost their kids to gang violence, too.  Anjinette Labert lost her son Darian in 2009. He was beaten to death. Diana Aguilar’s 6-year-old daughter Aliyah died in her arms almost one year to the day. Esther Stroud’s son was stabbed to death in 2008. Their sadness is palpable.

The neighborhood wants answers and wants the gunman to give himself up.Baby dies after being shot; City leaders speak out

Police are asking for the public’s help to find the gunman.  There is an $11,000 reward for the person who breaks the code of silence and turns him in.

Earlier in the day, city leaders like Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke out in anger and frustration over the shooting.  Emanuel called the shooting “senseless and despicable.”

The baby’s father Jonathan Watkins is in serious condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

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47 comments

  • Alan

    African Americans, Black Americans are the most unloving, uncaring group of people. If people truly cared there would be a line outside of the police station giving names and addresses of the animals that took an infants life. Am I to understand that life means so little that the only way to get them to talk is a paltry 11k for this child's life, is that all this child's life is worth in the Black community? It's amazing…think of the horrific conditions African Americans endured for hundreds years, from slavery, segregation, discrimination, Jim Crow. Those people worked to build communities despite the conditions and what do we see now? African Americans stealing from each other, raping and spreading HIV to innocent Black women, killing each other every weekend. It's pathetic and a crying shame Black people lost their lives only to see Black people wiping each other out. RIP young child….

    • anonymous

      So very true its a sad fact but all so true…… STAND UP BLACK PPL OPEN UR EYES AND DWE GOTTA DO BETTER AS A PPL. SMH!!!!!

    • James

      Quite the avenue and opportunity for you to express your ignorance and disdain towards a group of people. I imagine that when stories break of little White/Hispanic/Asian girls being raped and killed, you attack the White/Hispanic/Asian community, right?

      • GUCCI

        I am a Black woman and I have to agree about my people. This no stitching is stupid. The baby is who we should focus on not those grown, and ignorant adults. Somebody out there knows something. We are continuing to kill off our race.

    • Mr.Tibbs

      yeah alan your a walking talking idiot! police dont protect us like they do whites if that were the case more people would step up and plus the cops could careless its just more overtime for them. and for you to generalize a entire race with your stupid comment was very stupid but what are we to expect from a person such as yourself How dare you say ,"r.i.p" i'm sure when that child was alive you could care less about her so stick it! and as for "unloving" im sure the guy who murdered the kids in sandy hook ,colorado movie theater and the many other mass murders comited in this country by non blacks was jus bursting at the seems with love ,huh? its not too late to self abort please do maggot!

    • Blk

      I'm sorry but its not ALL black people so you should really think before you write ignorant things&whoever agrees with this is ignorant also. That's just like me saying all white people are crazy&like to shoot up everything that is not fair to say because ALL white people are not like that.i am BLACK&I am a mother of three girls&i would NEVER hold back information especially something of this nature!!! this sickens me&I'm sure there are many other black people who feel like I feel. we all know white people kill one another also…..how soon we forget about Sandy Hook…..ijs

      • Honesty

        BLK, there is a big difference. White people would not hold back information. Sandy Hook, Colorado Shooting, etc. the suspect's friends and peers admit that they were troubled. I am not saying ALL black people are immoral but it is difficult for the rest of us to have any respect when that is all we see on the news. Especially when A) we cannot understand what most of the witnesses and family members are saying and B) they are always in denial- "they were changing their life around" they didn't have no gun" they weren't in any gang"

  • Lhasalover1

    This is not a race issue…black on black crime..this is a poverty ,gang and crime against the most innocent a baby ..breaks my heart..Chicago needs the national guard to stand by in these crime ridden neighborhoods..good people live in these communities it is the crime that surrounds them

    • sleepdeprived

      So true,
      as an African American Medical Student interning at a hospital just blocks from the shooting, this is a travesty! I keep hearing people talking about the sadness and community shame of this. I would hope the guilty party would just turn themselves in.

  • Bad_News

    So the gangsters are killing babies now huh? Anything to keep the community afraid. There should be a reward for gangster's heads in Chicago..

  • Worn_down

    These aren't gangsters, Al Capone was a gangster. These are punks, dirty, lowdown, scum of the earth, no respect for human life, think they own the streets, punks. Nothing more, nothing less. They are everywhere. Communities, white, black, Latino, EVERYONE, needs to come together in order to solve this horrific and escalating problem. It is time to take a stand, if not now, for the love of Christ, when?

  • Randy

    The gangster dad should be arrested and charged with child endangerment and child abuse for putting the baby in that situation with his gang afflation. It also appears that the dad used the baby as a human shield. The people in the community know who the gang members are. The Police needs saturate the community with officers and make the gangsters life miserable.

    • Charrilyn

      As well as the Mom (should be charged). As a mother I would not allow my child(ren) to be with him! ESPECIALLY AFTER BEING SHOT myself! We as a community need to do better! The decisions we make do not just affect us on an individual level! STOP BEING SELFISH ONLY THINKING OF YOURSELF! What you do affect your Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Significant Other, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, YOUR OWN CHILDREN, etc… "KARMA IS A B!+C#" We need to make better decisions with who we lay with! We were not meant to pro-create with any and everyone! There use to be a scientific (sub-conscience) method in which we CHOSE our mating partner! It is okay to be open minded but we must be SELECTIVE in who we allow into our inner circles! One may see a very pretty or handsome individual with someone that others may consider not so. We ask "How did that come about?" the answer: Oh they are great partners, awesome in bed, etc… My problem is How did that door open for you to find out they were good in bed? or good partners? You gave them that chance, you made that selection… LETS GET MORE SELECTIVE ABOUT WHO and WHAT we allow in our thoughts, lives, environment! Be more selective who and what your children encounter! Stop ALLOWING THINGS to happen and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!

  • Nate

    To blame a race is is just as ignorant as to blame the police for this. It is the fault of of the people that tolerate this type of behavior. It is the fault of the friends and family of both the father and the shooter. It is the fault of the neighbors,family and friends that allow their peers to sell drugs and gang bang. It is the fault of the neighbors that close their doors, windows and eyes when they see these things coming. The police cannot stop gang banging if the citizens allow it and protect those that engage it. There are only about 11,000 cops protecting 6 million residents. If the residents choose to do nothing then dont blame the cops when these things happen. It takes the efforts of everyone in the city to stop the killings. Until the people in these neighborhoods decide to take a stand and work with the police to stop this, nothing will change. These people can do something but won't. I don't feel bad when I hear "No witnesses", "police have no tips from residents" or "residents refuse to cooperate". If you dont want to help then continue to live in violence and filth.

  • City Dweller

    It's so easy to read this article and sit behind a computer screen to comment on a situation you completely ignorant about. You have no clue what's going on in the lives of individuals who live in these communities. Most are busy trying to survive on whatever small piece of government trash received all the while trying to find just a little bit of happiness. Yes this is a horrific crime and I hope that they find whoever did this but stop trying to blame individuals for what society as institutionalized. It is everyone's fault!

  • kbo

    thanks blk. ppl. for being so disrespectful to your own ppl. keep on killing each other and leaving you all kids fatherless or motherless. now we can get some real sleep at night. who needs education when you all have guns that do your reading for you. you all make up 12% of the country but , you all make 50% of the prison population. damn thats a real genius type race. leaving your women to raise kids all by themselves , stealing anything that come your way , going to school just to fight only. blk. ppl. got along during slavery times. they were best friends then. as soon as slavery was outlawed you all turned against each other. thanks for doing my work for me blk. ppl. keep up the good work.

  • Chile, Please!

    I don't get it: there are child endangerment laws, yet poor people – who know good & damn well they canNOT afford children – bring children into violent surroundings?! WTF?!

    Poor people should be forcibly sterilized! DISBAND welfare, then return it to what it was initially meant for: senior citizens on fixed incomes, and to assist struggling families in times of unemployment FOR A MINUTE.

    Poverty fuels gang lifestyle. How are you people missing this?

    Create jobs and force these deadbeats off of welfare, at least providing on-site daycare for all the pee-wee league of children these hoodrats have. MAKE them contribute to society, and kick households with known felons off the welfare gravy-train payroll.

    End of story!

    • MWS

      I ABSOLUTELY agree with what you wrote. We, the taxpayers are enabling these lowlifes. They don’t have any regard for human life. Hence the high crime rate in these poor areas. I say we put them out of their misery or relocate them to an island. Like lepers.

    • kelly

      seriously?!
      its already illegal to kill anyone. its called murder.

      And furthermore, Is our society so corrupt that we need a effin law to keep people for shooting a baby?

  • lola

    You cannot stereotype a race the way Alan and others are doing here. People absolutely do need to come forward with information. Help yourselves and your community here. Do the right thing.
    City Dweller's statement really stood out to me: "Most are busy trying to survive on whatever small piece of government trash received all the while trying to find just a little bit of happiness." That small piece of government trash is being supplied by the working taxpayers. Perhaps the government should require those receiving their small piece of government trash to work in some way for what they're receiving. Perhaps they'd have more of a feeling of self worth and have less time for gang activity. Perhaps.

  • jeff

    nothings free in this country if you in a gang. your caught by police you automatically get you two trigger fingers cut end of discussion

  • MWS

    Now the mom is going to lose her welfare benefits. What other option does she have other than to get knocked up by another gang-banger and continue to receive her benefits? Such a shame. This child was born into a violent family and died as a result. I say we spay and neuter all of them to prevent this from happening in the future. They are not productive members of society. If they were, their neighborhood would be flourishing which quite obviously it isn’t. All these animals know are welfare, guns, drugs, murder and violence. Time to straighten up. If this doesn’t open your eyes, nothing will.

    • Kieyoun Smith

      Its not about the mom being on welfare its about the life of her 6 month baby girl ending so sadly, its not about being a productive member of society its about life and the life this family has now lost God bless you because for you to be so jugemental of the childs parents you may as well have ended that precious babys life just like the heartless idiot's with guns…….

      • Kieyoun Smith

        it do not take the brightess or richest individual to raise a president, doctor, or judge, but it do take the opportunity to live and let live for greatness and error to come about all those senseless remarks about who, when , and why will not change the fact an infant has died due to mindless harmful behavior of the heartless….

    • 14th Gen American

      I agree with you 100% and so should everyone else!! That is where our tax dollars go….to allow an unproductive part of society to flourish. 3 generations of wastoids on welfare and sterilizing the criminals is LOGICALLY SOUND!!!!!!!!! Make them take a drug test & intelligence test before allowing them to reproduce.

  • Dwayne

    Everyone of you have a right to your opinion but if you've never lived in these communities how can you speculate what really occurred, you were not there. People need to understand that these senseless crimes aren't happening (in my opinion) because of "Black People", it's happening because of those that have decided to be "niggas".

    • 14th Gen American

      I work from time to time in the "darker" part of Chicago. And no matter which village……it's all the same. There is a very small part of the communities that do not have bars on the windows. Individuals need to take action, not wait for more assistance. You guys make me sick with your "it's not the parents' fault" crap!
      If your "car" breaks down and fails to function 80% of the time you drive it, you'd probably get rid of it. So why are people so darn stupid and keep driving the "car"?!?! Yes folks this was an analogy.

  • Dwayne

    Those that have no pride in themselves or the people who fought for, sweat for, shed blood for, cried tears for, and was beatin just for you and I to have the freedoms that we do now. Its these same individuals that I call "niggas" that don't even respect their own parents nor have any respect for their elders. These are the ones that don't take education seriously and would prefer to be the "class bully" or the "class clown".
    Incidently, please know that these that I call "niggas" are not related to one race, but are those who have no regard for their own lives nor the lives of anyone else, THESE ARE NIGGAS!!!!!

  • Mike Schmidt

    The people of this neighborhood and all the neighborhoods need to take their homes back from the gangbangers, then and only then will Chi- town become a safer place

  • Cassie

    The family grieving the loss of their daughter, niece, granddaughter, and someone special to a lot of people are in my thoughts and prayers.

    I have no respect for people commenting on the color of someones skin. Its a non-issue. Has nothing to do with anything. I am a single white female and I can say that violence gang, or domestic has nothing to do with race. My brother was murdered this last spring. By a white person. Very ignorant to believe otherwise.

  • too small 04

    I have respect for all people. I believe its not the color of your skin it on the person. People don't forget the young white boy the kill all the children at Sandy Brook. He came from a good back ground, so tell me what happen there. It doesn't matter where you come from or your back ground it is bad people everywhere. That was over 20 people lifes tooking for what!.

  • cynthia

    wtf ppls its not about race what neighborhood is safe, Its about a baby girl who lost her life for some toal bullshit she was just starting her life so all this other shit thats being said is nothing cuz its not going to bring her back,she was finna have her first EASTERnow she cant . so i say to any parent that has lost a child my prayers go out to you,to the parents that has babygirl my prayers go out to you

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