Shooting at Dallas Methodist Hospital Committed By An Armed Felon on Parole

Shooting at Dallas Methodist Hospital Committed By An Armed Felon on Parole

Two Methodist Dallas Medical Center employees are dead after they were shot by a man Saturday morning, the hospital says. Dallas Police released the name of the shooter, 30-year-old Nestor Hernandez. Hernandez shot and killed two hospital employees Saturday morning. Hernandez was out on parole for another violent crime.

NBC Dallas reported, Hernandez was detained, stabilized, and taken to another local hospital. Hernandez is currently on parole for aggravated robbery and had an active ankle monitor, according to Dallas police. Which begs the question, why was Hernandez armed?

Dallas Police Chief, Eddie Garcia tweeted, “Our hearts @DallasPD go out to the those affected by this tragedy, 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.”

The shooting happened around 11:00 a.m. Saturday in the main hospital building on the campus, Dallas police said. The two victims have not been identified.

A statement from the hospital read,

“The preliminary investigation determined a suspect shot and killed two hospital employees. A Methodist Health System Police Officer arrived on the scene, confronted the suspect, and fired his weapon at the suspect, injuring him. 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. Our entire organization is grieving this unimaginable tragedy. During this devastating time, we want to ensure our patients, physicians, employees, and community 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.”

This shooting is just the latest in a string of gun violence at Dallas hospitals. In October 2019, a man shot his wife outside Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Dallas before shooting himself. And in September 2016, a neurosurgeon was shot and killed inside Baylor University Medical Center by a former patient.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Hernandez was released from prison last October after serving time for aggravated robbery. One of the conditions of Hernandez’s parole is electronic monitoring, the TDCJ spokesperson said. Dallas police said Hernandez was wearing an ankle monitor during the shooting. Officials did not answer further questions about the terms of his parole, and it’s not clear whether he is the father of the child whose birth he was given permission to see.

Details emerged about Hernandez’s past violent criminal history. From the Dallas Morning News,

The first robbery took place in December 2011, when Hernandez was 19, according to court documents. The victim told authorities he stopped at a convenience store on Royal Lane in Northwest Dallas after watching a Dallas Mavericks game, when two people, including Hernandez, made “vulgar” remarks toward a friend of the victim.

The victim walked over to the group to confront them. The person with Hernandez apologized and invited the victim into their car to share a cigarette, according to a police report.

When the victim sat in the front passenger seat of the car, the person with Hernandez pointed a silver revolver in his face demanded property. The victim resisted, and was pistol-whipped several times while Hernandez went through his pockets, according to court documents.

The victim was hospitalized with several injuries, authorities said. Shortly after the robbery, Hernandez was pulled over in a traffic stop. A police officer noticed blood inside the car, and Hernandez also had heroin and a .38-caliber gun, authorities said. The person with Hernandez had credit cards with the robbery victim’s name, according to court documents. Hernandez pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated robbery and was sentenced to two years in prison, according to legal documents.

The second robbery took place in January 2015. The robbery victim was walking into her Dallas apartment when a man and woman pulled her down and threatened to kill her. With his hands around her neck, the man forced the victim into her apartment and demanded money and property, according to police.

The victim grabbed a knife inside the apartment and tried to defend herself, according to police, but she was overpowered by both robbers, who covered her head with duct tape and locked her in a bathroom while they ransacked her apartment. They stole her car, phone and about $3,000 in cash for a school fundraiser before leaving, authorities said.

The victim was taken to a hospital with a broken nose and a broken bone around her eye. Hernandez and a woman were both later pulled over in the victim’s car. The stolen money was recovered, according to police.

Hernandez again pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

At what point do we engage in changing the sentencing requirements for violent criminals? Certainly we have ample evidence of the failures of our criminal justice system to protect the general public from violent criminals like Hernandez. Tragedies like this are often cited by gun control advocates as evidence of the danger guns pose in society, and as a rationale for stricter gun control measures. However, criminals like Hernandez don’t follow the law, especially gun control measures that would hamper their criminal plans, and now two more innocent victims are dead.