PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Sources told CBS3 The shooting that killed a 32-year-old pregnant woman on Saturday night It was “native in nature”. These sources identified the victim as Jessica Covington of Palmetto Street.
The shooting took place just after 8:30 p.m. Saturday in front of Covington’s home as the mother-to-be was unloading her baby shower gifts. Philadelphia police said he was shot in the head and stomach, killing him and his unborn child.
Authorities said he had at least 11 gunshot wounds targeting his abdomen.
“The killings are getting worse, it looks like we’re under siege here, we’re under siege here,” Deputy Police Commissioner Christine Coulter told CBS3 on Saturday night.
The killing comes as Philadelphia moves towards a new murder record; available as of sunday 491 murders so far in 2021. This is a 13% increase over 2020.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw issued a statement on the city’s escalating murders on Sunday night. In part he said:
“This heinous crime sent shock waves across the country and also underlines the willful disrespect we see for humanity. And worse yet, all this comes at a time when we are approaching another dire turning point. Soon, we will reach 500 murders in our beautiful city, and we will almost certainly exceed it.
“This incredible loss of life is unbearable. In itself, 500 lives cut short is a staggering number. But whatever the final total, what this number will never fully represent are the thousands of other lives affected by sudden and tragic loss.
“The Philadelphia Police Department will continue to work with our local, state and federal partners and other stakeholders to prevent the violent crime that plagues our beautiful communities. We are committed to proactively patrolling neighborhoods and encouraging community members to work with the police. We cannot undo what has already been done, but we cannot undo what has already been done. We will continue to pursue any information that will bring justice and closure to victims and their families. I urge anyone with knowledge to come forward and share this information with the police. Lives lost are not unique to one neighborhood or region of this city – it is timeless for everyone to come together and be a catalyst for change in our communities.
“I’m sorry if I didn’t tell you that our city was doing its best this weekend too, despite these sad facts. Between the numerous shows, as well as the annual Philadelphia Marathon, there were large, vibrant crowds in our communities throughout the weekend. Fortunately, PPD was well prepared for these meetings and we were able to facilitate these events without incident. I want to thank our officers for their hard work over the long hours, and to everyone involved in these demonstrations for doing so peacefully.”
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Police Commissioner Outlaw also said he was happy to have a $50,000 reward on the case.
“There seems to be a turn in the tide, it was very, very rare to hear a woman get shot many years ago, and it seems to be more and more common now,” Coulter said, describing the shift in the focus of violence.
“We have to start coming together because hitmen are coming together,” said activist Brandon Chastang. “They kill innocent women, men, children and each other.”
No arrests were made in Saturday’s deadly shooting.
For a list of sources of gun violence in Philadelphia, Click here
CBS3’s Joe Holden and Jasmine Payoute contributed to this report.