Sunday 18 February 2018

Fears for baby born in church after mother shot dead

Robert Hurd in Madrid

Doctors are waiting to see if a baby cut from the belly of his mother in a Catholic church after she was shot dead has suffered brain damage.

Emergency crews performed a caesarean section on the woman inside the church in Madrid after a gunman walked in and killed her, just days before she was due to give birth.

The man then knelt at the altar of the church before he shot himself in the head.

The baby boy was in cardio-respiratory arrest after being delivered, but was resuscitated with a chest massage.

It will be three days before doctors know if the infant suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen.

La Paz Hospital, where the baby is in the neonatal intensive care unit, issued a statement yesterday saying the baby's family did not wish his condition to be made public.

The 34-year-old gunman, wearing casual clothing and carrying a pistol inside a sports-racquet cover, walked into St Mary's Church in a neighbourhood of Madrid as about 40 people were waiting for Mass to start on Thursday night.

He shot the pregnant 36-year-old woman in the head at point-blank range as she sat in one of the back pews next to her mother, a police official said.

He then proceeded down the centre aisle, shot a 52-year-old woman in the chest, then knelt down in front of the altar and shot himself dead. The hospital statement said the second victim's life was not in danger.

The victims were apparently shot at random. A police official said the gunman had been wandering around outside the church and asked in a bar what time Mass started.

The officials said the man had a criminal record for drug dealing, domestic violence and resisting arrest.

At no point during the attack did the man say anything, the police official said.

Irish Independent

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