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Woman, Baby Shot By Boyfriend Who Claims She Gave Him AIDS

November 21, 1985

BALTIMORE (AP) _ A 23-year-old man shot his girlfriend and her baby because he believed she gave him AIDS, and the emergency workers who rescued the victims are worried about exposure to the fatal disease, police said Thursday.

Derrik Lawrence Bradley of Baltimore was being held Thursday in lieu of $125,000 bail on attempted murder and handgun charges for the shootings Saturday.

Police spokesman Dennis S. Hill said Bradley told the arresting officer: ″I did it. I shot her because she gave me AIDS and I have nothing to lose.″

Neither police nor City Jail officials knew Thursday whether Bradley actually has acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or whether tests had been conducted. AIDS destroys the body’s ability to defend itself against disease.

Tests confirmed the 7-month-old girl has AIDS, and her 19-year-old mother carries the virus believed to cause AIDS but does not have the disease, said Paul Umansky, director of community relations at Sinai hospital.

Umansky said the woman was released after treatment for gunshot wounds to the arm, hand, hip and foot.

The baby, shot once in the left arm, was in stable condition suffering from pneumosystis pneumonia, a lung infection typical of AIDS patients, he said.

″The prognosis is that she may have anywhere from several months to two years to live,″ Umansky said.

Meanwhile, the police and fire workers who carried the woman and child to ambulances told The Baltimore Evening Sun they are worried about their health.

The virus can be transmitted by sexual contact, the sharing of contaminated needles by intravenous drug abusers, transfusions of blood or blood products, or infection from mother to child before or around the time of birth.

″We didn’t even know about the AIDS until we were a block away from the hospital,″ Fire Lt. John Petrovic said. ″The uncle told us. He was in the ambulance with us ... and we said, ’Oh God, now we’re in trouble.″

Fire Department spokesman Capt. Patrick Flynn confirmed that his staff did not know about the illness until the victims were en route to Sinai Hospital.

Police officers were told at the scene by the mother, said Lt. George Immler.

Officials said four police officers and six fire officials were involved.

″It’s an exceedingly small, but nevertheless definable risk ... far less than 1 percent,″ Dr. Andrew R. Mayrer, head of the division of infectious diseases at Sinai Hospital and a professor at Johns Hopkins Hospital, told the Evening Sun.

Hill said the police officers ″had contact or were present″ with the woman and baby, but ″there was no transfer of (bodily) fluids.″ Hill said the possible AIDS exposure would be recorded on the officers’ personnel records.

The head of emergency personnel for the Fire Department, Capt. John Johnson, said his staff frequently is in contact with infectious patients, and the department urges use of masks, gloves and similar protective gear.

Petrovic said no one used gloves or masks in this incident.

Update hourly