A PAIR OF faded chalk circles, marking the spot where shell casings tumbled to the ground, were the only reminders yesterday of a nightmare in West Oak Lane.
A 32-year-old pregnant woman was shot in the back about 10:15 Monday night on Thouron Avenue near Limekiln Pike, police said.
Investigators found her inside a Dodge Caliber, leaking blood like a sieve. A 47-year-old man, believed to be her boyfriend, was on the ground nearby, bullet holes in his legs.
The woman, whose name was not officially released, lost her 19-week-old fetus, police said. She was clinging to life last night at Einstein Medical Center.
Meanwhile, investigators struggled to gather leads on a horrific crime that had no eyewitnesses.
They believe that the attack was rooted in a domestic argument, a lover's quarrel among the shooter and his two victims, a police source told the Daily News last night.
One nearby resident told police that he overheard a spat between two men, during which one screamed, "You're f---ing my wife!" the source said.
Seconds later, the gunfire rang out. Both victims were shot outside the car in which they had arrived, but the woman, despite her grievous injury, was able to get into the Dodge's passenger seat.
Her companion, however, was incapacitated by his leg wounds: Police found him lying on the pavement.
No gun was recovered at the scene, police said. The man who wielded it slipped away after the shooting.
Yesterday, long after the crime scene had been cleared, neighbors agonized over the senseless loss of the unborn child.
"I felt disgusted when I heard about the baby," said Kevin Patterson, who lives on nearby Tulpehocken Street. "It's not right, no way."
Patterson said that he, too, heard an argument moments before a succession of shots Monday night.
"Someone yelled, 'This is my woman!' " he said. "Then I heard four distinct shots."
Aubrey Jackson said he was walking into his house on Tulpehocken when he heard the gunshots. He walked toward the crime scene when police arrived a short while later.
"Who would shoot a pregnant woman? Oh, my goodness," he said.
"This was a nice neighborhood. It's getting rough. Everybody's going crazy now."
Phyllis Booker said she thought the gunshots were the sound of neighborhood kids setting off firecrackers a few days before the Fourth of July.
Then she saw the neighborhood light up with red and blue flashing lights. She didn't learn that a pregnant woman had been shot until a reporter told her.
"Oh, my God, that's so sad," she said. "God bless them."
Booker said she's lived at West Oak Lane for 30 years. "It's definitely evolved - and I don't mean for the better, either," she said. "If I ran to the window every time I thought I heard gunshots, I'd be crazy."
Police reported no information on the shooter last night. Tipsters should call 215-686-8477.
On Twitter: @dgambacorta