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Pregnant woman shot and killed in Tampa; baby delivered by C-section

TAMPA — Medical workers saved the baby of a 22-year-old woman shot Wednesday afternoon.

The mother, Brianna Anderson, was shot at least once by a man whom police believed to be her boyfriend just before 4 p.m. in the North Boulevard Homes complex. She was on life support late Wednesday night at Tampa General Hospital, police said. Shortly before midnight, police confirmed that Anderson had died.

Immediately after the shooting, police thought Anderson had passed away, but said paramedics revived her in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Anderson was in her third trimester of pregnancy, and doctors delivered the baby by cesarean section. The child was in stable condition late Wednesday and is expected to survive, police said.

Just before 8 p.m. Wednesday police said they had captured a suspect, whom they believe attacked Anderson inside an apartment at 919 W Chestnut St.

Authorities did not name the suspect, pending possible charges.

After the shooting, police canvassed the area, using a helicopter and a K-9 unit in search of the shooter. The Hillsborough County School District ordered a lockdown of Just, West Tampa and Dunbar elementary schools; Stewart Middle School and Blake High School. The lockdown was lifted about 5 p.m. so students could be dismissed.

After a 3 1/2-hour search, police took the suspect into custody at 7:27 p.m. following a brief pursuit. Detectives learned the suspect was in a blue Hyundai Accent, which an officer spotted going southbound on I-275, police said.

Officers pursued the car as it headed west onto Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Police chased the car for a block. They bumped the back of it, causing it to crash at the intersection of E Selma Street and Mayfield Avenue. No one was injured.

The suspect, who was a passenger in the car, was taken into custody for questioning. The driver also is being questioned.

"The detectives moved very quickly in their investigation and were able to take a very dangerous individual off the streets before he could hurt someone else," said police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.

Meanwhile, as detectives investigated, Anderson's family was whisked from the shooting scene. Jerome Ryans, president and CEO of the Tampa Housing Authority, was at the complex Wednesday afternoon. He said Anderson was known as an excellent resident, a working mother who took care of her family.

"You ask yourself why," he said. "Why something like this had to happen. But it happened."

On her Facebook page, there are several pictures of Anderson smiling and posing with her growing belly. On May 30, there was an ultrasound picture with the message, "My baby girl." About two months later, another post accompanied a message on a pink background with a Hello Kitty cartoon "im tooo readyy to have Rylei."

Times researcher John Martin and Times staff writers Patty Ryan and Marlene Sokol contributed to this report.

Pregnant woman shot and killed in Tampa; baby delivered by C-section 10/02/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 3, 2013 10:31am]
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