Philadelphia police commissioner addresses weekend violence as city nears 500 homicides

"This unconscionable loss of life is almost too much to bear," said Commissioner Outlaw.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw addressed the growing number of homicides in a statement Sunday night as the city approaches 500 deaths this year.

"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," Outlaw said.

The commissioner's words come after a pregnant woman and her unborn baby were killed around 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the Lawncrest section of the city.

The woman, identified to 6abc as Jessica Covington, was 32 years old and seven months pregnant.

Jessica Covington



Police said she had parked outside her Palmetto Street home and was unloading her baby shower gifts when someone approached her. She was shot in her head and stomach.

Covington and her unborn baby were rushed to the hospital, but neither mother nor baby survived.

Mayor Jim Kenney announced the city is offering a $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

"Last night's murder of a pregnant woman and her unborn baby is absolutely heartbreaking," 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.

"This heinous crime has sent shock waves throughout the country, and also highlights the intentional lack of regard that we are seeing for humanity. And worse, all of this comes at a time when we are approaching another grim milestone. Soon, we will reach, and almost certainly surpass, 500 homicides in our beautiful city."

The city inched closer to 500 homicides after a man was shot and killed in Logan on Sunday afternoon.

It happened around 3:30 p.m. on the 5000 block of N. 8th Street.

Police said officers found the man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was rushed to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

No arrests have been made at this time.

Anyone with any information is asked to call police a 215-686-TIPS.

"We cannot undo what has already been done, however, we will continue to pursue any and all information that will bring justice and closure to each victim and their families," Outlaw said. "I urge anyone with information to come forward and share that information with the police. The lives lost are not unique to one neighborhood or section of this city- it is beyond time that everyone comes together to be the catalyst for change in our communities."

Read the Full Statement from Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw:

"Last night's murder of a pregnant woman and her unborn baby is absolutely heartbreaking," said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. "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. This heinous crime has sent shock waves throughout the country, and also highlights the intentional lack of regard that we are seeing for humanity. And worse, all of this comes at a time when we are approaching another grim milestone. Soon, we will reach, and almost certainly surpass, 500 homicides in our beautiful city.

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. We remain committed to proactively patrolling neighborhoods and encourage community members to work alongside the police. We cannot undo what has already been done, however, we will continue to pursue any and all information that will bring justice and closure to each victim and their families. I urge anyone with information to come forward and share that information with the police. The lives lost are not unique to one neighborhood or section of this city- it is beyond time that everyone comes together to be the catalyst for change in our communities.

I'd also be remiss if I did not mention that despite these harrowing realities, our city also put its best foot forward this weekend. Between multiple demonstrations, as well as the annual Philadelphia Marathon, large, mobile crowds were present in our communities throughout the weekend. Fortunately, the PPD was well prepared for these gatherings, and we were able to facilitate these events without incident. I'd like to thank our officers for their hard work during long hours, and for everyone who participated in these demonstrations for doing so peacefully."
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