Jonylah Watkins, 6 months, was shot along with her father Monday in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago. ( Family photo / March 11, 2013 )

Jonylah Watkins, 6 months, was shot along with her father Monday in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago. ( Family photo / March 11, 2013 ) (March 12, 2013)

One story seemed to stick out Tuesday for readers on the Chicago Tribune's front page online: The death of a 6-month-old girl who was shot with her father as he changed her diaper in the Woodlawn neighborhood.

It's little surprise the death of Jonylah Watkins was among the Tribune's most-read stories: Readers had shared it 8,368 times, and spread it to their social networks on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Reddit.

As a parent, I can tell you the story left me speechless, as I'm sure it did for many other people.

There are still a great many details left to be sorted out -- among them, police say they have few leads in a shooting. They're exploring a lot of possible angles in their investigation, including the possibility it is gang related.

"We don't have one individual who's stepping up to help us," Superintendent Garry McCarthy told a news conference hours after Jonylah died at Comer Children's Hospital.

Discussion in social networks put the shooting into a broader conversation about national issues, including gun rights and gun controls, gangs, race, helplessness and frustration -- and finally, Chicago's image.

In the Tuesday press conference at which McCarthy spoke, Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the slaying “a senseless, despicable act of violence,” adding that he “will not rest” until children across the city can have the sense of safety and security enjoyed in more affluent areas.

Reporters asked how Jonylah’s death and the slaying of 15-year-old band majorette Hadiya Pendelton at the end of January affects the city’s national image. "As it relates to this situation, it’s not about image,” Emanuel  said. “It’s a child, six months. This was a senseless act of violence."

It's not a universally held view online.

-- James Janega

Join Trib Nation on Facebook for more of the how and why of Tribune journalism.