Dallas police identified a suspect in custody after a shooting at Methodist Dallas Medical Center on Saturday morning left two hospital employees dead.
About 11 am, Methodist Health System police, Dallas police and Dallas Fire-Rescue responded to the shooting in the 1400 block of North Beckley Avenue, the hospital said in a news release Saturday afternoon.
The two hospital employees died after a man opened fire. A Methodist officer fired his weapon at the suspect, identified by police as Nestor Hernandez, 30, injuring him, the hospital said. Hernandez was detained and taken to another local hospital.
Hernandez faces capital murder charges. Hernandez is currently on parole for aggravated robbery and had an active ankle monitor, police said.
“The Methodist Health System Family is heartbroken at the loss of two of our beloved team members. Our entire organization is grieving this unimaginable tragedy,” the hospital system’s executive leadership said in a written statement. “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.”
Authorities did not say what may have led to the shooting or identify the victims. At least 10 Dallas police cars were parked near the center’s emergency department in north Oak Cliff.
The Texas Nurses Association said in a statement workplace violence has been increasing since before the pandemic, and the rate of violence against nurses is three times greater than for all other professions. Dallas Methodist has yet to confirm the exact roles of the two employees killed.
“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,” said Dr. Serena Bumpus, chief executive of the association. “We hope our legislators understand that we need to protect our healthcare workers.”
The shooting comes about four months after officers fatally shot an armed patient in an Irving hospital emergency room, after a nurse reported he had a gun, Irving police said. Officers confronted the man at the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Irving and he fired at them. Officers tried to get him to put down the handgun, and then several officers shot back at the man, according to police.
Methodist hospital said in a statement it wants to assure patients and employees there is no ongoing threat. It said there is an active investigation.
Dallas Methodist had planned a tour on Saturday of the hospital’s new Linda and Mitch Hart Breast Center for breast cancer survivors at noon, and it was canceled, a spokesperson for Methodist confirmed. In a previous news release, the hospital said dozens of survivors had been invited to tour the new facilities.
Dallas police said they are providing assistance and directed all media inquiries to hospital police. A hospital spokesperson said a briefing would take place when appropriate, and any other information would come through Dallas police.
We @DallasPD are grateful for the support and care provided to our officers by @mhshospitals.Our thoughts are with staff and victims of today’s events.We will do EVERYTHING to assist in this investigation.This is a tragedy, and an abhorrent failure of our criminal justice system.
— Eddie Garcia (@DPDChiefGarcia) October 22, 2022
Dallas Police Chief Eddie García tweeted Saturday the department is grateful for the care provided by the hospital and its thoughts are with the staff and victims of the shooting.
“We will do EVERYTHING to assist in this investigation,” García wrote. “This is a tragedy, and an abhorrent failure of our criminal justice system.”
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson both asked for prayers for the families of the victims.
“Our city loves our healthcare heroes, and our residents will be there for them as we grieve and seek swift justice,” Johnson tweeted.
CORRECTION: Oct. 22, 5:01 pm A prior version of this story prematurely reported that a victim had died, before that information was verified by official sources. We removed that information until we could confirm the status of the victims.