gun violence

$50K Offered for Arrest in Killing of Pregnant Woman and Unborn Child

Jessica Covington and her unborn child were killed along the 6100 block of Palmetto Street in Northeast Philadelphia Saturday night. She was just 32

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What to Know

  • A pregnant woman returning from her own baby shower in Northeast Philadelphia was confronted by someone who shot and killed her and her unborn child, police and neighbors said.
  • Jessica Covington, 32, was on the 6100 block of Palmetto Street around 8:30 p.m. Saturday when a gunman opened fire.
  • Covington and her unborn child both died a short time later at the hospital.

A $50,000 reward is being offered for the arrest of the gunman who shot and killed a pregnant woman and her unborn child after the woman returned home from a baby shower and was unloading her gifts from her car in the Lawncrest section of Northeast Philadelphia.

The woman, identified by police as 32-year-old Jessica Covington, was steps away from her home on the 6100 block of Palmetto Street around 8:30 p.m. Saturday when a gunman opened fire.

Jessica Covington

Covington, who was 7 months pregnant, was shot in the head and stomach.

“I heard like nine shots, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom," Denise Wilson, a neighbor, told NBC10.

Covington was rushed to Einstein Medical Center where she and the fetus were pronounced dead just minutes later.

Neighbors said Covington was returning from her baby shower and unloading gifts from her car at the time of the shooting.

“It’s just horrific what happened," Wilson said. "It’s just a horrific murder, and I hope someone finds whoever did this.”

No weapons were recovered from the scene. No arrests have been made.

Mayor Jim Kenney on Sunday called the slaying “deeply upsetting and heartbreaking." While the city's policy is set for a $20,000 reward for an arrest in every homicide, Managing Director Tumar Alexander authorized Philadelphia police to increase the reward to $50,000 after consulting with Mayor Kenney.

“Last night’s murder of a pregnant woman and her unborn baby is absolutely heartbreaking,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. “While this attack appears to have been targeted, we will not rest until this obviously dangerous individual is in custody. I am pleased that the Mayor has increased the reward for the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator to $50,000."

As of the Monday morning, at least 496 homicides had been reported in Philadelphia in 2021, a 14% increase from last year, which was one of the deadliest years on record.

"Soon, we will reach, and almost certainly surpass, 500 homicides in our beautiful city," Outlaw said. "This unconscionable loss of life is almost too much to bear. On its own, 500 lives cut short is a staggering number. But whatever the final total, what this number can never truly show are the thousands of other lives impacted by sudden and tragic loss. The Philadelphia Police Department will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners and other stakeholders to get ahead of the violent crime that is plaguing our beautiful communities."

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

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