$5,000 reward offered to suspect in murder of pregnant woman near KOP mall – NBC10 Philadelphia

A woman shot dead at a gas station near the King of Prussia mall over the weekend was pregnant when she was killed, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said.

Rafiq Thompson, 38, of Philadelphia, allegedly killed Tamara Cornelius, 31, while pumping gas at an Exxon station on the 100 block of North Gulph Road on Friday evening, the county attorney’s office said. Montgomery in a press release last week.

On Monday, District Attorney Kevin Steele revealed that an autopsy performed in Chester County found Cornelius’ cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds and his manner of death to be homicide. The autopsy also revealed that Cornelius was pregnant when she was killed.

“It was a chilling murder of a young woman and her unborn child,” Steele said. “We will file an additional charge of homicide against the defendant – murder of an unborn child.”

Prosecutors have already announced that Thompson will face first degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and related charges.

Detectives determined Thompson and Cornelius had a prior relationship and met briefly around 9:11 p.m. before Cornelius entered The Cheesecake Factory restaurant for dinner, the prosecutor’s office said.

Cornelius left the restaurant just over an hour later and was followed by Thompson on her way to the gas station, prosecutors said. As Cornelius was pumping gas, Thompson spoke to him and then opened fire, the prosecutor’s office said.

Rafiq Thompson

He continued to shoot her as she tried to flee, the prosecutor’s office added. Cornelius was pronounced dead at Paoli Hospital at 11:09 p.m., 47 minutes after officers first responded to the gas station and found her bleeding, prosecutors said.

Thompson remained on the run Monday. The prosecutor’s office announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Thompson, who lives on North 47th Street in Philadelphia, should be considered armed and dangerous, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said. He is described as 5ft 7in tall and weighing around 167lbs. Anyone who spots him is asked to call 911 immediately.

Prosecutors are treating the murder as a domestic violence case, since the suspect and victim dated before, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Kate Delano said.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), visiting www.thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.

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