Authorities in Dallas have released a combination of surveillance and body-cam video of a ghastly incident during which a gunman allegedly shot and killed two healthcare workers in a hospital maternity ward.
Some of the edited footage is so graphic that it is audio only, Dallas police explained. Portions of the content are blurred out as well out of respect for the victims and their loved ones.
The suspect in the appalling October 22 incident that occurred at Methodist Dallas Medical Center is a parolee who was wearing an active ankle monitor at the time of the shooting.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice reportedly had granted the man “special permission” to be at the hospital when his girlfriend was giving birth, Fox 4 Dallas reported, a decision that could prompt an ancillary investigation.
He was reportedly out on parole from a 2015 aggravated assault.
Identified by news organizations as Nestor Hernandez, 30, the suspect allegedly fatally shot the two healthcare employees upon visiting his girlfriend and newborn child in the hospital’s mother/baby unit.
According to authorities, he accused his girlfriend of infidelity, struck her several times in the head with a handgun, before allegedly opening fire on the two women in quick succession. He allegedly also fired a shot at a police officer.
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Social worker Jacqueline Pokuaa, 45, and nurse Katie Annette Flowers, 63, tragically died in the attack. According to court documents, the suspect vowed to his girlfriend that “We are both going to die today” and “Whoever comes in this room is going to die with us.”
Sgt. Robert Rangel, who was first on the scene, can be heard on the audio trying to negotiate with Hernandez to get him to drop his weapon as the girlfriend is screaming in the background.
Additional officers arrived in the ward after Rangel called for backup.
The woman can also be heard apparently pleading with cops not to shoot Hernandez.
Officers took him into custody after about a 15-minute chaotic standoff in the hallway. Hernandez was reportedly shot in the leg by one of the officers in the encounter and received treatment at a different hospital.
The suspect is currently detained in Dallas County subject to $3 million bail. He is charged with capital murder (which is a death penalty-eligible crime in Texas if a suspect is convicted on that count) and aggravated assault against a public servant.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia previously described what he implied could have been a preventable situation as “a failure of our criminal justice system. A violent individual such as this should not have been on ankle monitor and should have remained in custody.”
The Dallas Morning News noted that the ATF is looking into how Hernandez gained access to a firearm given his status as a felon and a parolee.
“Methodist Medical System Police Chief Glen Fowler said Monday that the hospital wasn’t given any notice of his criminal history or that he was being tracked with an ankle monitor,” the Daily Mail reported. “‘That’s not something we normally inquire about for a parent,’ Fowler said. ‘This is an extremely horrific, out-of-the-norm situation. I wish that we would have known, but that is not some information that was provided to us beforehand.'”
Watch/listen to the video (“Warning for language and intense content):
All suspects are presumed innocent until or unless they are convicted in a court of law of any alleged crimes.
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