Six-Month-Old Baby Found Unharmed Beside Mother Who Was Shot Inside Philadelphia Rooming House

Trigger warning: death, violence

Last night, police reported that a 28-year-old woman had been killed inside a rooming house on the 5400 block of Stewart Street in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia. The woman was found with her infant son lying beside her. Authorities estimate the shooting took place just after 8 p.m.

Witnesses told police they only heard one shot. When police officers entered the second-floor bedroom in the boarding house, they found the woman with a gunshot wound near her mouth. The officers, who say the woman was unresponsive, feared she was bleeding out.

After being carried out of the home, the woman was rushed to Lankenau Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The 6-month-old boy was on the bed with blood on his clothing when he was found, police say. The baby was uninjured but was taken to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for medical evaluation, according to police.

Police say the victim had only been living in the rooming home for a week or two. Witnesses say prior to hearing the shot, there had been an argument between the victim and a man. “We believe that the 6-month-old son is most likely in the room when the shooting took place,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

According to police say the suspect ran north on 55th Street after shooting the victim. At this time, there is no suspected motive for the crime. Police say there were at least five other people in the home when the shooting took place. They are currently being interviewed by detectives. The police have released no additional details or a description of the suspect.

Overbrook is a neighborhood northwest of West Philadelphia. The area includes large, old homes, rowhouses and 3- and 4-story apartment buildings. The area is home to Overbrook High School, the Overbrook School for the Blind, the Overbrook SEPTA Station, and Overbrook Avenue. The 19th Police District of the Philadelphia Police Department protects Overbrook.

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Although Overbrook has historically been considered a relatively safe working-to-middle-class area, in the last year and a half, four killings and a series of other crimes have shocked the community. Some have linked the surge in crime to an increasing number of homes changing from owner- to renter-occupied as well as to insufficient police coverage due to higher crime rates in other parts of the 19th District, which has roughly 115,000 residents.

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