Pastor: Slain Baby’s Dad Cooperating With Police ‘Fully And Completely’
Updated 03/15/13 – 6 p.m.
(CBS) – The father of a baby girl murdered this week by gunfire showed up at a Chicago police station Thursday night – a gesture to show the reputed gang member is cooperating with authorities.
Six-month-old Jonylah Watkins died after she was shot multiple times Monday afternoon in the 6500 block of South Maryland Avenue in the Woodlawn neighborhood as dad Jonathan Watkins was changing her diaper in a minivan.
A gunman opened fire on the vehicle, apparently intending to harm the girl’s father, Jonathan Watkins, who is reputed to a member of the Gangster Disciples. Watkins himself was shot and wounded.
The 28-year-old was released from the hospital Thursday night and limped into Area South Police Headquarters, 727 E. 111th St., around 9:30 p.m. accompanied by Pastor Corey Brooks, who has been acting as a family spokesman.
“They lost a daughter, and that’s what we want to keep the focus (on),” Brooks told reporters, who had other questions. “We want to keep the focus on making sure we catch the idiot, the jerk that shot their child.”
Watkins declined comment, but Brooks said Watkins doesn’t know who shot him and Jonylah.
“Every question that he’s been asked, he has answered fully and completely; to the point that I asked myself ‘Is he fully cooperating? And the answer is yes,’” Brooks said. “If he knew who shot his daughter, and who shot him, he would have given them that name immediately.”
Although police sources have said Jonathan Watkins was a gang member, Brooks said Watkins has not been in a gang since 2007.
On Friday, the pastor said Watkins also had a second meeting with authorities, this time with a Cook County prosecutor. He declined to go into specifics.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker asked about reports that Watkins would not give police the log-in code to his cell phone, which was at the shooting scene. Brooks said he relayed the code to police through Watkins.
Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, in comments to WBBM Newsradio Friday evening, said there are “lots” of developments in the investigation.
Asked if the baby’s father has been cooperative, he said: “He’s given us some information, but there’s a chance he could give us more.”
McCarthy said the team of Area Central detectives spearheading the investigation is the same that led the investigation into the Jan. 29 murder of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton. That investigation led to charges against two men, two weeks after it occurred.
An $11,000 reward is being offered for information that will result in the conviction of the shooter.
Jonylah’s funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Brooks’ church, New Beginnings Church, at 66th and King. The wake will be at 10 a.m.
Visitation will be Monday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Leak Funeral Home at 7838 South Cottage Grove.