Jessica Covington, a 32-year-old pregnant woman, was shot and killed outside of her Philadelphia home Saturday night, police have announced

Reports of a deadly shooting on Palmetto Street involving a pregnant victim had been circulating since late Saturday, but police did not release an identity until Sunday. 

Investigators said the expectant mother was shot at least 11 times. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she and her unborn child were pronounced dead just after 9 p.m. 

Reports: Jessica Covington Killed Leaving Baby Shower

According to CBS 3, Jessica Covington had just left her baby shower and was returning to her home on the 6100 block of Palmetto Street in Philadelphia’s Lawncrest neighborhood when she was killed Saturday. 

She was carrying gifts inside, police said, when an unidentified assailant shot the 32-year-old at least 11 times, including in the abdomen and in the head. She was seven months pregnant, authorities said. 

“You just heard like boom, boom, boom, boom, like nine boom sounds, and it definitely didn’t sound like firecrackers,” one neighbor told WBTV. “She was on the sidewalk on the passenger side, laying there. Her door was wide open because someone just left her there to die.”

Jessica Covington, a 32-year-old pregnant woman, was shot and killed here, on the 6100 block of Palmetto Street in Philadelphia Saturday.
Jessica Covington, a 32-year-old pregnant woman, was shot and killed here, on the 6100 block of Palmetto Street in Philadelphia Saturday. No arrests have been made, but police believe the killing was ‘targeted’ and ‘domestic in nature.’ Photo credit: Google Maps

Deputy Police Commissioner Christine Coulter said authorities were in the area and responded to the scene almost immediately. 

“There was an officer a couple blocks away who heard the shots,”. “When they came here, they discovered her shot several times.” 

Both Covington and her child were officially pronounced dead within 30 minutes of the shocking attack. 

No arrests have been made, and police have not publicly identified a suspect. But investigators described the horrifying shooting as targeted, and an unnamed source told CBS 3 that detectives believe the shooting was “domestic in nature.” Police had yet to respond to requests for clarification on Monday morning, CBS News reported

According to her Facebook page, Covington was an esthetician who lived and worked in Philadelphia at the time of her death Saturday. 

Police said Jessica Covington was seven months pregnant and just came home from a baby shower when she was killed.
Police said Jessica Covington was seven months pregnant and just came home from a baby shower when she was killed. Photo credit: Instagram

City Officials Condemn Murder

In a statement on Twitter Sunday morning, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney offered condolences to the 32-year-old’s family. 

“This news is deeply upsetting and heartbreaking,” he wrote. “My heart goes out to the victim’s loved ones during this painful time.”

City officials are offering a $50,000 reward to information leading to the shooter’s arrest, the mayor added. 

“Last night’s murder of a pregnant woman and her unborn baby is absolutely heartbreaking,” said city Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw Sunday. “This heinous crime has sent shock waves throughout the country, and also highlights the intentional lack of regard that we are seeing for humanity.”

Police believe Jessica Covington was 'targeted' to be killed, and think the shooting stemmed from a 'domestic' feud.
Police believe Jessica Covington was ‘targeted’ to be killed, and think the shooting stemmed from a ‘domestic’ feud. Photo credit: Facebook

Noting that the city had reported almost 500 homicides in the calendar year 2021, the commissioner called the apparent rise in Philadelphia murders an “unconscionable loss of life” that 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,” Outlaw said. 

Grim Shootings Have Eerie Parallels

In an unrelated case in New York City in September, a 31-year-old pregnant woman was shot and killed, also while returning home from her baby shower. 

Authorities said Shanice Young was trying to break up a fight between her boyfriend and her ex when she was fatally shot in the head. The ex, 40-year-old Justin Soriano, was later arrested and charged with the expectant mother’s death.