Despite a dramatic rescue by emergency personnel on September 29, a baby boy who was brought into the world by Caesarean section from the body of his dead mother died while hospitalized in Madrid. According to Spanish media, the newborn – named ‘Alvaro’ - died at approximately 3:40 pm local time in the Spanish capital.
At approximately 8 pm on September 29, a deranged man entered a Catholic church in a working class neighbourhood in Madrid where he shot two women in the congregation about to participate in an evening Mass. Iván Berral Cid (34) entered the Santa María del Pinar parish church and without a word raised his pistol to the temple of 36-year-old expectant mother Rocio Piñeiro and pulled the trigger. As Piñeiro fell lifeless to the floor, Berral Cid then opened fire on María Luisa Fernández (52). The bullet entered her chest, passing through her body and exiting in the back. After committing these crimes, Berral Cid stalked to towards the altar and, turning himself to face the congregation, shot himself in the mouth and thus ended his own life.
Following multiple cellphone calls to police, emergency personnel came to the little church to aid the victims. Emergency medical technician Ceferina Cuesta, hearing the pleas from Rocio Piñeiro’s mother who was present, proceeded with an emergency Caesarean section in order to save the baby. Rocio had been deemed dead and Cuesta went into action to prevent the loss of another life. The baby was due for a natural delivery in just two days and his young parents had already dubbed him ‘Alvaro.’
Medical personnel in Madrid determined that Alvaro had been in his mother’s uterus for at least 15 minutes before his emergency delivery, thus complicating his condition. According to hospital spokesmen, Alvaro probably had serious cerebral trauma and thus would have had some disabling effects.
According to reports, Berral Cid had meticulously planned the attack following a June 2011 restraining order to stay away from his former companion, a Colombian woman. He had a considerable criminal record, including drug trafficking, domestic abuse, and resisting arrest. However, no record of psychiatric treatment has yet been reported. His former companion is herself expecting a child. In a note found on his body, Berral Cid wrote that he was unemployed and had no money for food. “The devil is after me,” he claimed.