Philadelphia (CBS) – Sources tell CBS 3 The murder of a 32-year-old pregnant woman It was “local in nature”. Those sources identified the victim as Jessica Covington of Palmetto Street.
The shooting took place shortly after 8:30 p.m. Saturday outside Covington’s home where gifts from her baby shower will be unloaded. Philadelphia police said she was shot in the head and stomach, killing her and her unborn child.
Authorities said at least 11 shots were fired at her stomach.
“The killings are getting worse, and it looks like we’re under siege here, we’re trapped here,” Deputy Police Commissioner Kristen Coulter told CBS3 Saturday night.
The murder comes as Philadelphia is headed toward a new murder record. As of Sunday, there was 496 murders so far in 2021. This is a 13% increase over 2020.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw issued a statement regarding the rising homicide total in the city Sunday night. She said in part:
This heinous crime sent shock waves across the country and also highlighted the willful lack of respect we see for humanity. Even worse, all of this comes at a time when we are approaching another grim milestone. And soon we’ll reach, and almost certainly pass, 500 murders in our beautiful city.
“This unbelievable loss of life is almost unsustainable. In itself, 500 lives cut short is an astounding number. But whatever the final total, what this number cannot really show are the thousands of other lives affected by the sudden and tragic loss.”
“The Philadelphia Police Department will continue to work with our local, state, federal and other stakeholders to defeat the violent crime that has plagued our beautiful communities. We remain committed to proactive neighborhood patrols and encouraging community members to work alongside the police. We cannot undo what has been done. Indeed, however, we will continue to pursue any and all information that will bring justice and end to each victim and their families. I urge anyone with information to come forward and share this information with the police. Lost lives are not unique to one neighborhood or section of this city – they have been Long time for everyone to come together to be a catalyst for change in our societies.
“I would also be remiss if I did not mention that despite these shocking facts, our city did its best this weekend. Between multiple demonstrations, as well as the annual Philadelphia Marathon, large, mobile crowds were present in our communities all weekend. Happily , PPD was well prepared for these gatherings, and we were able to facilitate these events without incident. I would like to thank our officers for their hard work during the long hours, and everyone who participated in these demonstrations for doing so peacefully.”
Police Commissioner Outlaw also said she was glad there was a $50,000 reward in the case.
Coulter described the shifting focus of violence, saying, “It seems to have shifted the tide, years ago it was very rare to hear a woman being shot and now it seems to be more widespread.”
“We have to start gathering, because shooters gather,” said activist Brandon Chastang. “They are killing innocent women, men, children and each other.”
There were no arrests in Saturday’s fatal shooting.
For a list of Philadelphia gun violence resources, click here
CBS3’s Wakisha Bailey, Joe Holden and Jasmine Payoute contributed to this report.