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Howard County police, Muslim group offer $5,000 rewards for information about fatal shooting of pregnant woman

The Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Howard County Police Department are offering separate $5,000 rewards for information about the killing of a pregnant Columbia woman last week.

The police department said it is still investigating the Friday evening shooting that killed Rabiah Ahmad, 30.

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County police reported Saturday morning that officers responded to the 6600 block of Dovecote Drive for a report of several shots fired about 11 p.m. Friday. Ahmad was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where she died, police said.

She was 28 weeks pregnant, and doctors were able to deliver the baby girl, who was in critical condition Sunday, police said. On Monday, police said there was no update to the condition of the baby, who is named Ahja.

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No one else was injured in the shooting, according to police.

“She was an amazing spirit,” Ahmad’s boyfriend, Kadeem Bailey, said Saturday. He confirmed he was present the night of the shooting but declined to comment further.

Bailey did confirm that Ahmad was Muslim, though police said Monday there is no evidence to suggest the shooting was a hate crime. The shooting took place on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the Day of Sacrifice. The motive remains under investigation.

Zainab Chaudry, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations office in Maryland, met with Ahmad’s family Sunday at the hospital.

“Our goal in offering a reward is to encourage anyone with information about this horrific crime to come forward and help deliver justice for Rabiah and her family,” Chaudry said in a statement. “At this point, there are too many unanswered questions, and the community’s help can make a tremendous difference.”

Neighbors on the block where Ahmad lived said they were shocked to learn of the shooting. Eric Pina, a neighbor, was home playing video games when he heard the popping noises late Friday night.

“I assumed it wasn’t fireworks because it was back to back to back,” Pina said Monday. “I knew it was a gun. There’s nothing else to assume. Fifteen minutes later I saw the ambulances and police.”

Another neighbor, who declined to be named, knew Bailey and his family for 20 years and said he had seen Ahmad and Bailey out for walks recently in the neighborhood.

“It’s such a quiet neighborhood. It’s a shock to everybody,” the neighbor said. “It kind of really shook us.”

On the street behind the home where Ahmad and Bailey were staying, flowers, pictures and notes were pressed into the wooden fence as a memorial to Ahmad began to take shape. The center of a post reads: “Justice for Rabiah Ahmad Beloved Mother and Best Friend.”

The Howard police department is urging residents in the area to check their doorbell or security cameras for any activity around 11 p.m. Friday. Anyone who may have seen or heard something in the area, or has any other information, is urged to contact police at 410-313-STOP or HCPDCrimeTips@howardcountymd.gov. Callers may remain anonymous.

Baltimore Sun reporters Wilborn P. Nobles III, Nathan Ruiz and Colin Campbell contributed to this article.

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