Spanish conservative politician shot in face in Madrid. Gunman escaped on a motorbike, reports say


MADRID (AP) — Veteran Spanish right-wing politician Alejandro Vidal-Quadras has been taken to a hospital in Madrid after being shot on a street in the capital, police said Thursday.

Police said he was shot in the face on a central street at around 1:30 p.m. local time and was conscious when taken to a hospital.

According to Spanish state news agency EFE, police believe the shooter was a person who escaped the scene on a motorbike wearing a black helmet.

Vidal-Quadras, 78, was a long-time member of Spain’s conservative Popular Party, its regional leader in Catalonia, and a European Parliament member before leaving after three decades when he fell out with then Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

After he broke away, he helped found the far-right Vox party. He left Vox shortly after a failed attempt to win a European lawmaker seat in 2014.

Police are investigating the shooting and have yet to make any arrests.

Vox President Santiago Abascal said he believed Vidal-Quadras’ life wasn’t in immediate danger.

“Thank god it seems that Alejandro Vidal-Quadras is out of danger,” Abascal said.

Popular Party President Alberto Núñez Feijóo deplored the shooting and wished for his recovery.

Vidal-Quadras hasn’t been active in politics for several years, but he has maintained a public role as a media commentator and columnist.

He served as a vice president for the European Parliament and took a heavy interest in foreign affairs, participating in the legislature’s delegations to the former Soviet republics Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

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