Spain: baby born after mom shot risks brain damage

AP News
Posted: Sep 30, 2011 9:03 AM
Spain: baby born after mom shot risks brain damage

Doctors are waiting to see if a baby cut from the belly of his mother in a Madrid church after she was shot dead has suffered brain damage, an official said Friday.

The baby boy, delivered after his mother died in an apparently random attack, was in cardio-respiratory arrest at birth Thursday evening, but was resuscitated with a chest massage, the Madrid emergency rescue official said.

It will be three days before doctors know if the infant suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen. The 36-year-old woman was just days away from giving birth.

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

The 34-year-old gunman, wearing a straw hat and casual clothing and carrying a pistol inside a sports racket cover, walked into St. Mary's Church in a middle-class neighborhood of Madrid as about 40 people were waiting for Mass to start. He shot the pregnant woman in the head at point-blank range as she sat in one of the back pews next to her mother, the police official said.

He then proceeded down the center aisle a few steps, shot a 52-year-old woman in the chest, then walked a bit further, knelt down in front of the altar and shot himself dead. The hospital statement said the second victim's life is 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. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with their departments' policy.

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