Reward increased for info on deadly Md. shooting of pregnant woman, baby

Howard County police Chief Lisa Myers joined the family of Rabiah Ahmad and the Council on American-Islamic Relations at a news conference Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. (Courtesy Howard County police)

The reward has increased for information about the shooting death of a pregnant woman in Columbia, Maryland, last month that also led to the death of her baby days later.

The reward for information about the killing of Rabiah Ahmad, 30, and her baby, Ahja, now totals $25,000.

“The police department is offering $20,000 for information leading to an arrest; CAIR is offering a $5,000 reward,” said Zainab Chaudry, director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations in Maryland.

Rabiah Ahmad was 28 weeks pregnant when she was shot July 31 inside a home in the 6600 block of Dovecote Drive, Howard County police said. Several shots were fired from the outside.

No one else inside the home, where Ahmad had been staying for a few months after recently moving to Maryland, was hit. She was taken a hospital, where she later died.

Doctors delivered her baby girl, who remained in critical condition until she died Aug. 5.

“There are no words to express the magnitude of sorrow for the loss of these two innocent lives,” said Howard County police Chief Lisa Myers. “I am committed to devoting every possible resource to find the person or people who committed this heinous act.”

Ahmad was Muslim, and the shooting happened during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Police said that so far they do not think Ahmad was targeted in the shooting, but hope that the community may have information that could lead to an arrest.

“We have absolutely no reason to believe Rabiah was targeted as the intended victim,” Myers said. “But someone out there was firing at this house for a different reason, and we want to find that person.”

None of the leads thus far followed by investigators has led to a suspect. They believe any small piece of information could add critical details needed to find the killer.

“We’re pleading with anybody who has information to come forward and help get justice for this family,” Chaudry said. “One of the hardest parts for the family is not knowing who is behind this. Somebody has information.”

Police are asking anyone with more information to call them at 410-313-STOP or email HCPDCrimeTips@howardcountymd.gov.

WTOP’s Kristi King and Rick Massimo contributed to this report.

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