Baby dies after being delivered from murdered mother

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A Spanish baby boy has died four days after being born in an emergency caesarian when his mother was shot dead by a deranged gunman, a hospital official said Tuesday.

The new-born was delivered by emergency workers just minutes after the gunman shot his 36-year-old mother in a Madrid church, a drama that gripped the Spanish capital.

"He died here," said a spokeswoman at Madrid's Hospital de La Paz, where the baby, reportedly named Alvaro, was rushed after the shooting.

The infant died at 3.40 pm (1340 GMT) on Monday she said, declining to give any details of the cause.

The 34-year-old gunman had entered the Santa Maria del Pinar church in northern Madrid on Thursday evening as about 30 people were taking mass.

He shot the pregnant woman in the head, walked down the aisle and shot a second woman in the chest, then knelt before the altar and, looking at his victims, shot himself in the head, media and officials said.

An emergency medical team failed to save the life of the mother but decided to try to save the baby after the victim's mother told them she was nine months' pregnant.

"We decided in just seconds to try to do something for this baby, to try to save him," the on-duty emergency services medic, Ceferina Cuesta, said at the time.

The medical team performed a caesarian in the church but had to resuscitate the baby because his heart had stopped. Emergency workers had said they were concerned about the possibility of brain damage.

The gunman, described by Spanish media as a homeless man with a record of drug dealing, threats and abuse, reportedly left a suicide note, the contents of which have not been disclosed.

The other injured woman, aged 52, was taken to the same hospital. According to a medical update no bullet hit any vital organs and the woman was stable and out of danger.

© 2011 AFP

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