- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2003

BOSTON, Feb. 6 (UPI) — Police Thursday sought whoever fired shots in a crowded Boston subway train, mortally wounding a woman's unborn child.

The woman was hospitalized in critical condition with a stomach wound, and doctors were unable to save her nearly full-term fetus.

Police said the woman was an innocent bystander, and not the intended target.

"It's an incredibly tragic situation," said police spokeswoman Mariellen Burns. "Whoever is responsible for this showed a callous disregard for life."

She vowed investigators would do "everything in our power" to find those responsible.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino called it an "unbelievable tragedy. You have a woman on a train and these people have no sense of life."

Police said the 29-year-old woman, who was three weeks from giving birth, was on a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority train when a group of young men began arguing as it pulled into the Orange Line station at Massachusetts Avenue about 8 p.m. Wednesday.

A passenger on the train yelled that someone had a gun and for everyone to get down, according to MBTA Police Chief Joseph Carter.

At least two shots rang out and people began diving and running for cover as the doors opened to the platform.

Police were looking for at least five young men with hooded jackets who fled from the station.

The woman, whose name was not immediately released, staggered off the train with the aid of other passengers.

She was conscious when emergency personnel rushed her to the Boston Medical Center. The fetus died a short time later at the hospital.

Prosecutors were considering whether to handle the case as a homicide. In order to do so, under state law, the fetus must have been viable and the death caused by the shooting.

After-school crime on the sprawling rapid transit system has been on the increase in recent years since the MBTA disbanded a plainclothes undercover youth violence unit in 2001, according to the Boston Globe.

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