A pregnant woman shot Friday night inside a home in Columbia has died, according to Howard County Police. Her baby girl was delivered but is in critical condition.
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. The police said multiple bullets were fired into the residence from the outside, and one of the rounds struck Rabiah Ahmad, who was 30.
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 delivered the baby girl, who was in critical condition, police said.
The baby’s condition remained critical as of Sunday, county police spokesman Seth Hoffman said. He said he did not have any further information to share.
No one else was injured, police said.
“She was an amazing spirit,” said Kadeem Bailey, her boyfriend. Bailey, who was visibly distraught Saturday, confirmed he was present the night of the shooting, but he declined to comment further.
A neighbor nearby who declined to be named called the shooting “terrible” and “tragic,” adding that police had been talking with residents all morning to gather information.
Detectives continued to investigate the shooting. Police reported that several unrelated people live in the Dovecote residence.
Throughout the early afternoon, passersby offered condolences and food. A man who lives several houses from the shooting scene said he heard five shots a little after 11 p.m. The resident, who declined to be named, said he assumed it was overnight construction work because “it’s a quiet neighborhood.” He said the police came 15 minutes later.
The neighbor said he recently moved there from Baltimore City because the area is usually quiet, and he was shocked this could happen where it did. “This is a quiet neighborhood. There are usually little kids playing in the street,” he said.
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, a Democrat, said in a statement that the county is sending its “condolences and prayers” to Ahmad’s friends and relatives.
“It is an unimaginable and unacceptable tragedy which took place in our community overnight. Our condolences and prayers go out to the family and friends of Ms. Ahmad and to our entire Howard County Muslim community who are shocked and saddened by the incident which occurred on Eid al-Adha, the Day of Sacrifice,” Ball said in a statement. The Islamic holiday observes the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.
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Bailey confirmed that Ahmad was Muslim.
Hoffman said the motive for the shooting and whether anybody in the house might have been targeted was under investigation.
“The Howard County police department is working diligently on this case and my office has been in touch with leaders within the Muslim community to offer our support and resources where needed to help those impacted,” Ball said.
Zainab Chaudry, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations office in Maryland, called the shooting “a horrific situation.” She said CAIR is in touch with the county police chief as her organization monitors developments.
“Our hearts go out to the victim’s loved ones, and especially to the infant in critical condition. We urge anyone with information about this horrific crime to contact authorities and help bring justice for this family. At this point, there are too many unanswered questions, and the community’s help can make a tremendous difference,” Chaudry said.
Police are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information. They are also urging residents in the area to check their doorbell or security cameras for any activity around 11 p.m. 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 Nathan Ruiz and Colin Campbell contributed to this article.