Dallas hospital shooting: Suspect was in building to attend birth of child, authorities say



CNN

The man who allegedly shot and killed two employees in the maternity ward of a Dallas hospital was in the building to attend the birth of his child, authorities said.

Nestor Hernandez, 30, was arrested Saturday and faces capital murder charges after authorities say he shot and killed two employees at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, the Dallas Police Department said.

Police responded to the hospital around 11 a.m. after receiving reports of an active shooter, Methodist Health System said in a statement.

A Methodist Health System police officer confronted and shot the suspect, the hospital system said. Hernandez was detained, stabilized and taken to another hospital for treatment, the statement added.

Hernandez was on parole for aggravated robbery and was wearing an active ankle monitor, Dallas police said. He was granted permission to be at the hospital while his significant other gave birth, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The shooting took place in the “mother/baby” unit of the hospital, the health system said.

“The Methodist Health System family is devastated by the loss of two of our beloved team members,” a statement from the medical system’s leadership said. “Our entire organization is mourning this unimaginable tragedy.”

Hernandez had been “behaving strangely” prior to the shooting, accusing his girlfriend of infidelity, according to an arrest warrant obtained by CNN affiliate WFAA.

After accusing her boyfriend of cheating, Hernandez began searching the closet and bathroom for someone else who might have been in the room, the warrant said. The suspect produced a weapon from his pants and struck his girlfriend several times in the head, according to the warrant.

Hernandez then sat on a couch and allegedly told his girlfriend that “we’re both going to die today” and “whoever enters this room is going to die with us,” the warrant said. Moments later, a hospital employee entered the room to provide services to the suspect’s girlfriend, and the suspect stood up and fatally shot the employee.

Another hospital employee and a police officer from the Methodist Hospital System were in a hallway and heard the gunshot. The employee looked into the room and saw the first victim on the floor, according to the warrant. After entering the room, the other employee was also allegedly shot and killed by Hernandez.

The officer then took cover and shot Hernandez in the right leg, according to the warrant.

Medical system management said in a separate statement that security at Methodist Health campuses is “of utmost concern and is evaluated on an ongoing basis and whenever an issue arises.”

In response to the attack, police staffing will be increased on campus “out of an abundance of caution,” the statement said. The hospital had recently installed new camera systems, strengthened physical security measures and held active shooter training for employees.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia in a Twitter posts called the attack “a tragedy and an abhorrent failure of our criminal justice system.”

“This is unacceptable,” said Dr. Serena Bumpus, executive director of the Texas Nurses Association. “No person should fear for their life just to go to work, especially a nurse or health care worker whose passion is helping others heal. We hope our lawmakers understand that we need to protect our health care workers.”

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