It was just last Monday that 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins was sitting in her father’s van in the South Side neighborhood of Woodlawn in Chicago when a gunman ambushed father and daughter, stopping her young life before it ever really had a chance to get started with one bullet. Since then, outrage has poured in all over the country over the non-stop gun violence and the fact that our children are having to face it head on now. As for who is behind this particular shooting, while police say that Jonathan Watkins had gang ties, that he was the target of the shooting, and that there are Facebook threats online directed at him (however, he says he doesn’t know why someone would come after him or his daughter), a suspect still hasn’t been caught as of yet. However, Jonathan Watkins has started to cooperate with the police and Superintendent Garry McCarthy is hoping that his participation in the investigation will bring in the suspect. “When this is all said and done…we are going to close this case.”
But today, people will come together in the city to say goodbye to Jonylah Watkins, as her funeral will be held at 11 a.m. But visitation for family and friends has already started, and according to WGN-TV in Chicago, the young girl has been placed in a 3-foot-6 inch casket with a teddy bear inside. The funeral will also be open casket. Despite reports that NBA player Derrick Rose would be helping to cover the funeral expenses, the local funeral home Leak & Sons, according to the Huffington Post, has actually taken care of all costs for the 6-month-old’s family. Spencer Leak, the home’s funeral director, spoke to DNAinfo in Chicago and says that Jonylah’s death is one of the worst that he has had to preside over. “I’ve had children 4, 5 and 6 years old, but this is the youngest. It’s terrible. It’s just heartbreaking. I have a grandchild a little older, so it really broke my heart. I feel for the family — these are just little tiny innocents.”
How someone can sleep at night knowing they took the life of an infant, we don’t know, but let’s hope that a suspect will be brought to justice for the Watkins family and this baby girl.