COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — Police have increased the reward for information in the death of 30-year-old Rabiah Ahmad and her baby in Columbia.
Ahmad was shot inside a home in the 6600 block of Dovecote Drive while she was 28 weeks pregnant on July 31. Doctors delivered her baby girl, Ahja, before Ahmad died. The baby remained in critical condition at the hospital until she died on Aug. 5.
Howard County Police are urging anyone with information to come forward.
“There are no words to express the magnitude of sorrow for the loss of these two innocent lives,” Police Chief Lisa Myers said. “I am committed to devoting every possible resource to find the person or people who committed this heinous act.”
Police responded to the Columbia home around 11 p.m. on July 31 after reports of several gunshots. Police learned multiple bullets were fired into a home from outside.
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Ahmad, who had recently moved to Maryland, had been staying at the residence for several months. She was struck once and no one else was injured.
Her family traveled from Florida as the search for answers continues.
“You shattered my life,” Rabiah’s mother Jameelah Ahmad said. “You took my passion: my daughter and my granddaughter.”
Detectives don’t believe that Ahmad was targeted in the shooting and are working to find the motive for the shooting.
“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. We believe there are people in this community who may be able to help us answer that question.”
Any small piece of information could help police put together critical details in the case, police said.
Ahmad’s aunt Anita Najiy echoed that message.
“Someone within the sound of my voice is holding on to a piece of the puzzle,” she said.
Police have increased the reward to $20,000 in hopes that it will bring them new leads.
Once a suspect or suspects are identified, police will consult with the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office to determine charges.
At this time, there is no evidence the shooting was racially motivated, but the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is providing support to her family, who is Muslim, and offering an additional reward of $5,000.
Anyone with information to contact police at 410-313-STOP or HCPDCrimeTips@howardcountymd.gov. Callers can remain anonymous.