CHICAGO (AP) — Teddy bears and flowers decorated a church Tuesday as pastors prayed for strength at the funeral of a 6-month-old baby girl killed when a gunman fired at a minivan as she sat on her father’s lap.
“Lord, we pray that you would give (the girl’s family) supernatural strength,” Pastor Monique McCord said at Jonylah Watkins‘ funeral with hundreds in attendance at a church in the Woodlawn neighborhood where the shooting occurred.
The girl’s father, 29-year-old Jonathan Watkins, was seriously wounded in the March 11 shooting. Watkins wore a white hooded sweatshirt and bowed his head over the small casket on Tuesday for about 10 minutes. He had nicknamed his daughter Smooch.
The baby’s grandmother, Mary Young, read a poem at the funeral and several religious leaders spoke.
“All of us need to apologize to her for not doing our best to make the world a better place,” Pastor Marshall Hatch said. “She deserved better.”
Earlier Tuesday mourners filed past the baby’s open casket. On Monday a line formed outside a funeral home as members of the public offered condolences to the family. A local funeral home is paying for the services.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Monday investigators will solve the baby’s murder.