WEEK IN REVIEW: At least two dead from violence, though Chicago went all week without a fatal shooting

Chicago Sun-Times Wire

There was likely not a fatal shooting in Chicago last week, something that had not happened in Chicago in more than four years.
It has been since at least 2012 since there was a week without a fatal shooting, according to Homicide Watch Chicago records which go back to the start of 2013. The longest stretch without a fatal shooting in that time was four days, which happened in December 2016.

But despite the lull in fatalities, the city is still ahead of 2016 as far as shootings go, though 2016 had recorded more homicides, 111, as compared to this year, which had seen 102 through Sunday.

Two people did die from violence in the city last week, but both were injured before the week started.

  • Chicago Police and state child welfare authorities are investigating the death of a 4-month-old Janylah Mack, who died Thursday from injuries suffered in utero when her father allegedly beat her pregnant mother and killed her 3-year-old brother last year. Janylah was pronounced dead at 10:09 a.m. Thursday, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy Friday found the baby, who lived in the West Side Humboldt Park neighborhood, died from complications of injuries her mother suffered in an assault while pregnant with her.

    The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is investigating her death, according to an agency spokeswoman. A DCFS statement said Janylah died “as the result of injuries suffered in utero from an apparent domestic violence incident that took place when the mother was 34 weeks into her pregnancy, on October 31, 2016.”

    Janylah’s father, Devon Thomas, 22, was charged with murder and aggravated battery in November for an attack on his 3-year-old son, Tayveon Thomas, and the boy’s then-pregnant mother. He has not been charged in connection with Janylah’s death.

    Thomas is also under investigation by DCFS for abusing Tayveon, who died on Oct. 31, 2016, and the boy’s mother is also being investigated for neglect in connection with Tayveon’s death, Resa said. A 1-year-old sibling remains in DCFS custody, Resa said.

  • A man was found shot to death Saturday afternoon in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side, but police believe he was shot days or even weeks prior to being found. Officers responded at 12:23 p.m. to a call of a person lying face down in a vacant lot in the 5400 block of West Ohio. Antoine D. Watkins, 22, was found dead at the scene, according to the medical examiner’s office.

    Watkins lived about a block away from where he was found, and had been reported missing Feb. 8 after not having been seen since Feb. 4, police said. A police source said it appeared the body had been in the field for “quite a while.” An autopsy showed Watkins died of multiple gunshot wounds.

  • There may be a third homicide victim from last week, but an autopsy on the body of a woman found by a garbage collector Friday afternoon in the Grand Crossing neighborhood on the South Side was inconclusive. The man was dumping trash about 12:25 p.m. in the 7300 block of South Kenwood when he discovered the body and called 911, police said.

    The woman was identified as 21-year-old Diamond Turner. It wasn’t known how long her body had been there, and the autopsy did not rule on manner and cause of death, with results pending further investigation, according to the medical examiner’s office.

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