Bullet that killed pregnant woman may have been fired at another victim Man, shot several times, dies one block away

September 09, 1997|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A woman 17 weeks pregnant who was shot and killed yesterday may have been hit by one of several bullets fired at another man who also was fatally wounded on a West Baltimore street, city police said.

Loretta Chapman, 30, of the 300 block of Linnard St. was shot once in the head and was pronounced dead about 6: 30 a.m. at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. There was no chance of saving the fetus, police said.

Detective Robert Bowman of the homicide unit said ballistics tests on the recovered bullets that will be completed today will prove or disprove any link between the slayings of Chapman and the other victim, an unidentified man in his 20s.

Police said the man was shot several times about 1: 40 a.m. in the 1500 block of Presstman St. and was pronounced dead at the scene. About 2: 15 a.m., police found Chapman lying wounded one block away, in the 1400 block of School St.

Police think Chapman might have been shot in the barrage of bullets on Presstman Street and staggered to School Street, where she collapsed.

The three homicide detectives working on the case said yesterday that they had no suspects and knew of no motive.

Based on preliminary evidence, "it appears Chapman may have been an innocent bystander," said Agent Ragina L. Cooper, a police spokeswoman.

Bowman said he wanted to wait for the ballistics tests to make sure.

"We're not certain they are connected yet," he said last night.

Pub Date: 9/09/97

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