A Saturday night shooting in Philadelphia that left a woman and her preborn baby dead has been called “domestic in nature,” according to CBS.
On Saturday evening, Jessica Covington, 32, was unloading her baby shower gifts from her car when she was shot in the head and the stomach with at least 11 bullets striking her in the abdomen. Covington was seven months pregnant. A police officer down the street heard the shots and ran toward them, finding Covington. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead just after 9 p.m. Her baby was pronounced dead soon after.
This news is deeply upsetting and heartbreaking. My heart goes out to the victim’s loved ones during this painful time.
— Jim #VaxUpPhilly Kenney (@PhillyMayor) November 21, 2021
The following morning, Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted that the city is offering $50,000 for information about the shooting that leads to an arrest. This is an increase of $30,000 from the usual reward offered in homicide cases. Police were able to get video footage of the attack, but street lights were out, and therefore, the videos are dark.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, on Monday, police had identified and questioned a suspect but said charges have yet to be filed as they are still collecting evidence.
District Attorney Larry Krasner said during a news conference that the attack made him “sick” and it is “very likely” that whoever is charged with the killing will face two counts of murder — one for Covington, and one for her baby girl whom she had named Cyre.
“She was super excited to be a mom,” Jivonna Taggert, a friend of Covington’s, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
A November 2021 study found that homicide is now the leading cause of death in pregnant and postpartum women in the United States by more than twofold. Pregnancy was also found to be associated with a significantly elevated homicide risk in Black women. Pennsylvania is one of 38 states that have fetal homicide laws, allowing charges to be filed in the homicide of a preborn child.
Teesh Adams, another of Covington’s friends, said Covington had been looking forward to their Friendsgiving celebration which had been canceled last year due to the pandemic.
“She was just so happy,” Adams said. “This was the only way they could take away her joy.”
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