Chicago's gun violence doesn't get the same nationwide attention as shootings in suburban areas, but last year nearly 500 deaths were the result of gunfire. However, only a small percentage of those murders resonate on a national level. The murder of six-month-old Jonlyah Watkins garnered national headlines in March and native Chicagoan Derrick Rose offered to pay for the funeral, but up until Memorial Day weekend, the search for a suspect was still ongoing. Jonlyah's murder wasn't the result of a stray bullet, a botched burglary or gang violence. The arrest of a suspect on Monday has brought to light just how senseless Jonlyah's slaying was.
Via Chicago Tribune:
Six-month-old Jonylah Watkins was fatally shot over a stolen video game console, Chicago police said Monday as they announced an arrest in a slaying that has come to symbolize the city's deadly gun culture.
Authorities charged Koman Willis, 33, with killing the infant and shooting her father while they sat parked in a minivan in the Woodlawn neighborhood on March 11. A bullet entered Jonylah's right shoulder and traveled down through her left thigh. She died the following day. Her father, Jonathan Watkins, survived multiple gunshot wounds.
Jonathan Watkins, 29, had been Willis' target "in retaliation for a stolen video game system," police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said. The animosity began after a game system was taken from Willis' Chatham apartment and sold to someone else in the neighborhood, according to law enforcement sources.
Willis' arrest won't cure the ills plaguing Chicago's inner cities, but it may bring ease to the minds of the slain toddler's family knowing that the killer will be brought to justice.