BY CHRISTINE ROBERTS / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2013, 4:34 PM
Jonylah Watkins will be buried in a tiny three-foot casket after being tragically struck five times while her father, Jonathan, now recovering from his own wounds, changed her diaper. Her dad, whom cops say is a gang-member, is cooperating in the frantic hunt for the shooter.
DNAINFO.COM CHICAGO—Dominique Young, the aunt of 6-month-old Johnylah Watkins, shows a photo of her niece, who was shot while her father, Jonathan Watkins, changed her diaper.
A Chicago Bulls point guard has offered to help pay for the funeral of a 6-month-old girl who was fatally shot in Chicago on Monday, according to reports.
Derrick Rose has come forward to cover part of the services for Jonylah Watkins, the infant who was struck five times along with her father as he changed her diaper in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side, CBS Chicago reported.
While Jonylah’s killer remains on the loose, her family has begun the harrowing ordeal of planning the baby’s funeral and wake. Jonylah’s mother, 20-year-old June Watkins, was tasked with identifying the child’s bullet-riddled body at the Cook County medical examiner’s office Wednesday night.
“She stood there for about 30 seconds or a minute,” a spokesman for the family, Rev. Corey Brooks, told the Chicago-Sun Times. “But I could tell she would have stayed there all day. I told them that was enough.”
Spencer Leak, funeral director at Leak and Sons, told DNAinfo that Jonylah’s case is one of the most difficult he’s dealt with in 20 years.
He said he had to order a three-foot casket for the baby, whose body needs special preparation because of her wounds. The gunman hit her in the thigh, shoulder, lung, liver and bowels.
RON HOSKINS/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES—-Reports say Derrick Rose has come forward to help pay for the funeral of Jonylah Watkins, the 6-month-old girl who was fatally shot in Chicago on Monday.
“It’s just heartbreaking. I have a grandchild a little older, so it really broke my heart,” Leak said. “I feel for the family — these are just little tiny innocents.”
Jonylah’s father, 29-year-old Jonathan Watkins, remains undergoing treatment at Northwestern Medical Hospital, where he is reportedly cooperating with authorities. He was struck in the cheek, leg and buttocks.
Jonathan, who police say is member of the Gangster Disciples street gang, does not know who fired at him and his daughter.
“He is giving them the information that they are asking for,” Brooks told the Sun-Times. “If he knew who shot him, trust me, they would be arrested by now.”
Superintendent Garry McCarthy has suggested that Jonathan was “exclusively” the target.
DNAINFO.COM CHICAGO—An unidentified gunman shot at Jonathan Watkins multiple times as he changed his daughter’s diaper in his car.
Jonylah’s wake will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at New Beginnings Church in Woodlawn. Her funeral will follow at 11 a.m.
Leak said he could not confirm whether Rose has offered to pay for the funeral.
The star player has not commented on Jonylah specifically. However, he has been outspoken about gun violence in Chicago in the past.
“I’m sitting here just thinking how sad it is that my city got to go through this,” Rose tweeted in September, after two people were fatally shoot and 10 others were injured during a 48-hour period.
“I love my city and everyone in it even my haters!”