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Mourning Jonylah Watkins, shot inside a minivan

VICTORIA L JOHNSON Special to the AmNews | 3/21/2013, 11:53 a.m.
Mourning Jonylah Watkins, shot inside a minivan

Mourners gathered on Tuesday morning for the funeral of 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins, who was shot and killed last week in Woodlawn, Ill., by someone who was believed to be aiming for her father, Jonathan Watkins. The two were in a minivan when the shooting occurred. Jonathan Watkins, who was wounded, has not yet left the hospital.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said, "The baby was sitting in his lap, in the driver's seat, and the shooter came from the sidewalk over his right shoulder." He further confirmed that "the baby was hit with one bullet, not five."

Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois' 1st Congressional District said, "My reaction when I heard about the death of Jonylah was disbelief and sadness. It is a heart-wrenching experience to lose a child, and I know its pain. My heart and prayers go out to Jonylah's family during their time of loss."

When it comes to gun control, Rush has presented several bills, including the Conflict Resolution and Mediation Act, which is "designed to provide assistance to local elementary schools through its local education agency for the prevention and reduction of conflict and violence."

This month he also introduced the Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 to "limit straw purchases of firearms and reduce illegal trafficking of firearms across state lines."

According to police, the shooter got away in a blue conversion van.

Watkins' funeral was held at the New Beginnings Church.