Six-month-old Jonylah Watkins died Monday after being shot while her father, Jonathan Watkins, changed her diaper. Kim Vatis reports.
Officials are beginning to doubt a father's story that he was changing his baby's diaper at the time of the shooting that killed her, police sources said Wednesday.
Authorities have said publicly that Jonathan Watkins, with his gang ties and long criminal history, was likely targeted in Monday's shooting in the 6500 block of Maryland Avenue in the city's Woodlawn neighborhood.
He remains hospitalized, but police said they believe he knows who shot at him and that he is beginning to cooperate.
Officials on Monday said Watkins told them the baby was on the front passenger seat of the family van when a gunman walked up behind and opened fire. Little Jonylah Watkins was wounded in five places: in the thigh, shoulder, lung, liver and bowels.
But a medical examiner source indicated it was likely a single bullet doing all that damage. The bullet traversed down and through her body from her shoulder to her groin and ended up in her diaper, an official said.
"I've never seen a baby this small this horribly injured in this manner," said Rachel Wolfson, a doctor in Comer Children's Hospital's pediatric critical care center. "I'm actually surprised that we made it as far as we did. I was very concerned this child was simply going to be bleed to death in front of our eyes."
Doctors said it took them two hours in surgery just to slow the bleeding. In the girl's 12 hours in the emergency room, her little body's blood volume had to be replaced six times, they said.
"People stayed late who otherwise would have gone home. The amount of resources that we brought to bear to try and help her were immense," said Dr. Mark Slidell, a pediatric surgeon.
The community is offering an $11,000 reward for the capture of Jonylah's shooter. A family spokesman said Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose will help pay for the child's funeral.
Anyone with information should call Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8380.
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