murder in madrid
© Associated Press/Paul White
Horrifying: A covered body is brought out of St Mary's Church, Madrid after a gunman walked in during a service and killed a pregnant woman before turning the gun on himself
A gunman shot dead a pregnant woman in church before kneeling at the altar and turning the weapon on himself.

Doctors are waiting to see if the woman's baby, delivered by paramedics on the church floor after she was killed, has suffered brain damage. Rocio Pineira, 36, had been days away from giving birth.

The boy was saved in an emergency cesarean section but had to be resuscitated during the procedure on Thursday evening at the Santa Maria del Pinar Church in Madrid.

The boy, named Alvaro, is in the neonatal intensive care unit at La Paz Hospital in the Spanish capital. Doctors said it will be several days before they can fully comment on the infant's condition but it was described as 'serious'.

The husband of Mrs Pineira is receiving treatment for shock.

Ceferina Cuesta

Life saver: Ceferina Cuesta performed an emergency caesarean which saved the baby boy's life
The 34-year-old gunman, dressed in shorts and a straw hat, carried a pistol concealed inside a tennis racket cover. He walked into the church, in a middle-class neighborhood of Madrid, as around 40 people were waiting for Mass to begin.

He shot the 36-year-old mother-to-be in the head at point-blank range as she sat in a back pew next to her mother. She had gone to pray with her mother for the wellbeing of the unborn child.

He then walked a few steps down the centre aisle and shot a 52-year-old woman in the chest but she survived.

She is being treated in hospital where her condition was described as 'serious but not life-threatening'.

The gunman then walked to the altar knelt down and turned the gun on himself, committing suicide. He did not say anything during the attacks.

Initial reports suggested that the gunman was an ex-boyfriend of the victim however police have now ruled out any connection between the pair. A spokesman said they think the shooter was mentally ill and the victims were shot at random.

Witnesses have told police the killer had spent the day roaming around the area. He went into the church two hours before the shooting to ask what time the evening mass started before heading to a bar opposite to have a beer.

He was spotted returning to the church two minutes before the 8pm service started. One witness, who asked not to be named, said: 'He walked straight up to the pregnant woman and shot her in the temple from close range without saying a word.'

He had a criminal record for drug dealing, domestic violence and resisting arrest.

A scroll was reportedly found inside his house which read: 'The devil is behind me. I have no job or money. I have to do something.'

He has been named as Ivan B.C., a 34-year-old Spaniard with police refusing to reveal his surname. A spokesman said: 'He appears to have selected his victim at random so we're obviously looking at the possibility he may have been suffering from some sort of mental illness.

'He was well known to police with several arrests stretching back to the nineties for crimes including drugs trafficking, domestic abuse and assault.'

murder in madrid

Terrible loss: A woman cleans the floor in the Santa Maria del Pinar Church after a pregnant woman was killed
The shooting occurred just before 8pm on Thursday night at Santa Maria del Pinar church in the neighbourhood of Ciudad Lineal.

Ceferina Cuesta, the paramedic who performed the emergency caesarian on the church floor, said: 'Rocio had a pulse for a few minutes but we couldn't do anything for her and we had to try to save the baby.

'After performing a scan and being told she was 40 weeks pregnant and due to give birth tomorrow, I decided to perform an emergency caesarean.

'The baby wasn't breathing when he was born but we managed to revive him. He remains in an incubator, his condition is serious and he has received hypothermia treatment to try to preserve his neurological condition.'

Priest Manolo Polo said: 'We are praying the child born during this awful tragedy pulls through this. At the moment all we know is he still alive.