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Baby dies after pregnant woman is stabbed in Southeast Washington

By Erica W. Morrison,

A baby delivered after his mother was stabbed in the stomach early Thursday in Southeast Washington has died, D.C. police said.

The special victims unit is investigating the attack, which occurred about 2:30 a.m. in an apartment building in the 4200 block of Ninth Street SE.

Police said the woman, who was eight months pregnant, was taken to a hospital. The baby boy was delivered and later pronounced dead. Results of an autopsy have not been released.

Officials did not release details of the woman’s identity or her condition. Chris Copeland, who lives in an adjoining apartment building, said the woman described the attack to him during a hospital visit Thursday afternoon. “She’s taking it as well as anyone in her situation can take it,” he said.

Copeland said the woman told him that she was sleeping with her youngest child when she awoke to find someone standing over her and that the intruder stabbed her once in the stomach. Then she ran into the hallway screaming as she banged on neighbors’ doors, Copeland said.

Cynthia Spenard, who said she lives in the building where the attack occurred, said she sometimes watched the victim’s three children. They were unhurt and were staying with relatives after spending some time with neighbors, Spenard said.

“She’s a good mother,” Spenard said.

Police were still on the scene Thursday afternoon. The apartment building where the woman lived, a three-story red brick structure surrounded by a tall, black metal fence, was closed to nonresidents. Some people were gathered outside, where children played.

Residents of the neighborhood — a collection of small apartment buildings and townhouses — were upset by the news.

“Strange and bizarre stuff going on,” said Copeland, who also said he considered the fenced-in buildings safe. “That doesn’t happen around here.”

“Everyone knows each other,” Spenard said. “Everybody watches over everyone in the neighborhood, especially the kids.”

Police said they are searching for a male suspect, but they had not released a description. It was unclear whether the woman knew her attacker. Police said there were no apparent signs of forced entry into the building.

Staff writer Katie Rogers contributed to this report.

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