Mourners attend funeral for Jonylah Watkins - KMSP-TV

Mourners attend funeral for Jonylah Watkins

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral for a 6-month-old baby who was killed when a gunman fired at minivan in Chicago as she sat on her father's lap.

Teddy bears and flowers were on the stage at the Tuesday services for Jonylah Watkins. The funeral is at a church in the Woodlawn neighborhood where the shooting occurred. The girl's father, 29-year-old Jonathan Watkins, was seriously wounded in the March 11 shooting.

Watkins wore a white hooded sweatshirt and bowed his head over the small casket on Tuesday. Earlier mourners filed past the open casket. On Monday a line formed outside the funeral home at the baby girl's wake.

The baby's parents were escorted into the Leak & Sons Funeral Home through a back door for security reasons Monday. They left after 10 minutes.

Jonylah has become a sad symbol of gun violence for the community.

Police say they are close to finding the person who killed her.

A number of Chicago police patrolled outside because police say the shooting was a gang related hit, targeted at the baby's father, 28-year-old Jonathon Watkins. He was shot multiple times and police say he is cooperating with the investigation but they say he could contribute more.

"He was not changing the baby's diaper when this occurred and we found no evidence that the mother, his wife, was ever shot. So I don't know where that information came from but the fact is he has a significant criminal background. At this point, we think there's a lot more that he can help us with but he is in fact cooperating with the investigation," McCarthy said.

Sources tell FOX 32 News Watkins refuses to give police the passcode to his mobile phone. Police want to see what communication took place before the shooting.

Supt. Gary McCarthy credited Pastor Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church with getting the father to cooperate with police and for helping pay for the baby's funeral.


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