(PHILADELPHIA) — A pregnant woman unloading gifts from her own baby shower was fatally shot outside a Philadelphia home Saturday night in what police said they suspect was a “cowardly” targeted shooting.
The slaying of the 32-year-old woman, who was seven months pregnant, comes as Philadelphia broaches a record year for homicides.
The name of the expectant mother was not immediately released. Police officials said she was taken to Einstein Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Doctors were unable to save her unborn child, police said.
On Sunday, investigators were working to identify a suspect or suspects as well as uncover a motive for the killing.
“The person who did this couldn’t be more cowardly,” Deputy Police Commissioner Christine Coulter told ABC station WPVI in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the city is offering a $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest, he announced Sunday morning.
Coulter said the shooting unfolded around 8:30 p.m. in northeast Philadelphia when the woman returned home from her baby shower and was unloading gifts from her Kia Soul parked outside her home near the intersection of Palmetto and Benner streets in the Lawncrest neighborhood.
A police officer on patrol two blocks away heard gunfire and discovered the pregnant woman outside her home suffering from gunshot wounds to her head and stomach, authorities said.
At least 11 shell casings were collected by investigators at the scene, according to police.
“When I look at this situation, it looks like someone was targeting her, looking for her,” Coulter told WPVI.
At the start of the weekend, Philadelphia police had investigated 491 homicides in 2021, a 13% increase from the same time span in 2020, according to a grim tally from the city’s Office of Controller. In 2020, the city recorded 499 homicides, one short of a record for homicides in the nation’s sixth-largest city set in 1990.
At least 397 of the homicides this year were the result of shootings and another 1,582 people have survived being shot in Philadelphia this year, according to the Office of Controller.
Lawncrest resident Tom McDonald said his wife heard the gunshots that killed the pregnant woman he described as “a nice person up and down the street.”
“With this (that) just happened right here at the end of my block … enough is enough,” McDonald told WPVI. “It’s time for the city to do something. Everybody is getting fed up. We (are) tired of it.”
Coulter said the city and the police department are “doing what we can.” She added, “We can’t stop people who are intent on shooting somebody.”
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