Chicago Top Cop: Shooting That Killed Baby Has 'Strong Gang Overtones'

Father was the intended target, Supt. Garry McCarthy says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chicago's police superintendent says shooting that killed Jonylah Watkins has "very strong gang overtones," adding that Jonathan Watkins was the intended target. Phil Rogers reports.

    The Chicago shooting that killed a 6-month-old girl and left her father in critical condition was gang-related, Chicago's top cop said Tuesday.

    Supt. Garry McCarthy told reporters the incident has "very strong gang overtones" and said the father was the intended target.

    Records show Jonathan Watkins has been arrested 39 times and has ties to the Gangster Disciples. Numerous weapons violations and an attempt to steal his car back from police after it was impounded are among the charges.

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    Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, on Tuesday March 12, 2013, said the shooting death of a 6-month-old, who was shot along with her father, had strong gang overtones. Because of a lack of leads, he asked for the public's help in catching the shooter.

    Watkins, 28, also doesn't hold a valid Illinois driver's license and shouldn't have been driving when he pulled over to change his daughter's diaper at about 12:45 Monday afternoon. McCarthy said the shooter ran up from behind Watkins, fired and took off to a nearby blue conversion van.

    The father was struck in the buttocks and on the right side of his face. His young daughter, Jonylah Watkins, was hit five times: in the thigh, shoulder, lung, liver and bowels, police said.

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    In response to the death of a 6-month-old who was shot five times Monday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the fatal shooting was "a senseless, despicable act of violence."

    After several surgeries, Jonylah passed away Tuesday morning, family spokesman Chicago Pastor Corey Brooks confirmed. Watkins was in serious but stable condition Tuesday.

    "This is another tragedy, because no child, certainly not an infant, should be a victim of gun violence," McCarthy said.

    Police continue looking for the shooter, described by McCarthy as a black male wearing dark clothing.

    Authorities said Watkins has so far been uncooperative in providing information as to who shot him. They're pursuing several angles and urge anyone with information to call Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8380.

    "This is a sobering reality we have a lot of work to do, even though we're making progress," McCarthy said.