Pregnant Pennsylvania Woman Fatally Shot While Pumping Gas

A pregnant woman in Pennsylvania was allegedly fatally shot while pumping gas — and her ex-boyfriend has been named as a suspect.

Per the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, on Friday, April 8, 2022, at 10:22 p.m., police were dispatched to the Exxon Station at 113 N. Gulph Road in response to reports of gun shots being fired.

At the scene, officials found Tamara Cornelius, 38, lying in the gas station parking lot suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. She was transported to Paoli Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 11:09 p.m.

Per a joint homicide investigation by Upper Merion Township Police and the Montgomery County Detective Bureau, Cornelius and Rafiq Thompson, 38, reportedly had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory prior to her death.

The statement says the two reportedly had a prior relationship.

Based on their investigation, officials believe Thompson followed Cornelius when she left the restaurant to head to the gas station and spoke to her while she was pumping gas.

Authorities allege Thompson then shot her multiple times, continuing as she attempted to run away.

“This was a chilling murder of a young woman and her unborn child. We will be filing an additional homicide charge against the defendant—Murder of an Unborn Child,” said District Attorney Kevin R. Steele.

This week, an arrest warrant was issued for Thompson, who is being described as 5’7” weighing around 167 lbs. Police also say he is “armed and dangerous.”

Per an autopsy performed Monday by Forensic Pathologist Erica Williams of the Chester County Coroner’s Office, Cornelius’ manner of death was determined to be a homicide while the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds. The autopsy also confirmed that Cornelius was pregnant at the time of her death.

WCAU-TV reports Cornelius was also a mother to three additional children.

The DA is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can provide investigators with information leading to Thompson’s arrest.

Those with information about Thompson’s whereabouts are asked to call the Montgomery County Detectives at 610-226-5553 or Upper Merion Police at 610-265-3232.

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