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Baby delivered in emergency C-section after pregnant woman shot dead

Published 20/11/2016

The youngster is now safe and well
The youngster is now safe and well

A baby boy has been delivered by emergency caesarean section after a pregnant woman was fatally shot in California.

Vanessa Oviedo, 27, was shot in the head in an apparent gang-related shooting in Visalia on Thursday night, according to the Fresno Bee newspaper.

The child is healthy and in stable condition, Visalia Police Lt Brian Winter said.

Ms Oviedo, who was 35 weeks pregnant, was shot in a drive-by shooting near Ben Maddox Way and Houston Avenue in Visalia. The driver, Andrew Aguirre, 23, was also shot in the leg.

Ms Oviedo and Mr Aguirre were travelling with three other people, including an 11-month-old child, when occupants of another car opened fire on them. Mr Aguirre then drove to Kaweah Delta Medical Centre.

Ms Oviedo was reported as a woman in delivery, but when medics said she had gunshot wounds and no pulse, Dr Renee DeNolf and Dr Steven Warrington acted to save the baby.

Doctors had 30 seconds to perform the C-section, emergency room physician Greggory Shubert said.

"It was heroic," he said. "This is something we're taught to do, but this rarely occurs."

He said he knows of no such event in 20 years at the hospital.

"I got my scalpel out," Dr DeNolf told Fresno television station KFSN. "My attendant said, 'cut', so I cut."

The baby emerged barely moving and not breathing. But after a few tense seconds, medics found a pulse, she said.

"To pull that baby out and know you save him, that is something I will never take for granted," Dr DeNolf added.

Detectives believe the car was targeted, but they have not been determined which of the passengers was the target of the attack.

Family members remembered Ms Oviedo as someone with a bright spirit.

AP

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