Officer shoots man accused of killing 2 Dallas hospital employees

Police respond to an active shooter incident at Methodist Dallas Medical Center on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. Two hospital employees were shot and killed, and the suspect was wounded by an officer and taken into custody, according to police.

Police respond to an active shooter incident at Methodist Dallas Medical Center on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. Two hospital employees were shot and killed, and the suspect was wounded by an officer and taken into custody, according to police.

The Dallas Morning News via AP

A suspect who shot and killed two employees was arrested after he was shot by a police officer at Methodist Hospital in Dallas on Saturday morning, authorities said.

In a news release Saturday afternoon, a Methodist Health System spokesperson confirmed that the suspect fatally shot two hospital employees.

Methodist Health System Police, the Dallas Police Department and Dallas Fire-Rescue responded about 11 am to an active shooter call at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, at 1441 N. Beckley Ave.

“A Methodist Health System police officer arrived on the scene, confronted the suspect, and fired his weapon at the suspect, injuring him,” hospital spokesperson Ryan Owens said in the statement. “The suspect was detained, stabilized, and taken to another local hospital.”

“The Methodist Health System Family is heartbroken at the loss of two of our beloved team members,” hospital executives said in the statement. “Our entire organization is grieving this unimaginable tragedy. During this devastating time, we want to ensure our patients and employees that Methodist Dallas Medical Center is safe, and there is no ongoing threat. Our prayers are with our lost co-workers and their families, as well as our entire Methodist family. We appreciate the community’s support during this difficult time.”

According to reporting by Star-Telegram media partner WFAA-TV, at least one of the victims was a nurse. The victims were shot near the hospital’s maternity ward.

The names of the victims have not been released.

Dallas police identified the suspect as 30-year-old Nestor Hernandez and said he’s been arrested on suspicion of capital murder. Hernandez was on parole for aggravated robbery and had an active ankle monitor, Dallas police said.

Dallas police are assisting with the investigation, but the hospital has its own police department that is in charge, authorities said.

Police have not said what led to the shooting or why the suspect was at the hospital. It’s unclear whether Hernandez should have been able to go to the medical center while he supposed to be wearing an ankle monitor.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia pledged in a tweet that, “We will do EVERYTHING to assist in this investigation.”

“This is a tragedy, and an abhorrent failure of our criminal justice system,” Garcia said.

In another post after the suspect was publicly identified, Garcia said, “I’m outraged along with our community at the lack of accountability, and the travesty of the fact that under this broken system, we give violent criminals more chances than our victims. The pendulum has swung too far.”

Friends of the nurse who was killed told WFAA that she was at retirement age and spent a lot of time with her grandchildren. They described her as a person who would always take charge.

Some patients and employees were evacuated to another floor, while others hid. A man whose wife and daughter work on the fourth floor, where the shooting happened, told WFAA that he rushed to the hospital after getting a call from his daughter. She was separated from his wife, who was hiding from the shooter in a bathroom, he said.

“Right at that time when it was happening, your mind is racing,” Eddie Smith said. “I ran a few lights, trying to get here.”

In a tweet Saturday afternoon, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said that two “healthcare heroes were shot @methodistdallas near labor and delivery this morning. .. Please pray for the family and friends of the victims and the entire @mhshospitals team.”

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson also offered prayers for the victims’ families. “Our city loves our healthcare heroes, and our residents will be there for them as we grieve and seek swift justice,” Johnson tweeted.

Dr. Serena Bumpus, a registered nurse who is CEO of the Texas Nurses Association, told KDFW-TV, “Our hearts are broken. This is unacceptable. No person should fear for their life for merely going to work, especially a nurse or healthcare worker whose passion is to help others heal. We hope our legislators understand that we need to protect our healthcare workers.”

A tour of the hospital’s new Linda and Mitch Hart Breast Center for breast cancer survivors that was scheduled to start at noon Saturday was canceled, a spokesperson for Methodist Hospital told the Dallas Morning News.

This story was originally published October 22, 2022 1:08 PM.

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