A man facing a capital murder charge in the Methodist Dallas Medical Center shooting that killed two people over the weekend is a parolee who was in the hospital for the birth of his loved one’s child, prison officials said Sunday.
Nestor Oswaldo Hernandez was released from prison last October after serving time for aggravated robbery, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesperson said. The news in an email. But Hernandez was granted permission to be in the hospital “to be with her significant other during childbirth,” the prison spokesperson said.
Hernandez, 30, served two years in prison after pleading guilty to a robbery in 2011, and another stint after pleading guilty to a robbery in 2015. In both cases, the victims were beaten before property is stolen.
Authorities said Hernandez entered Methodist Hospital around 11 a.m. Saturday and opened fire, killing two medical workers before being shot and wounded by a hospital police officer. The employees have not been identified. Dallas police and hospital officials on Sunday declined to release any new information, including the jobs of the two people killed.
One of the conditions of Hernandez’s parole is electronic monitoring, the TDCJ spokesman said. Dallas police said Hernandez wore an ankle monitor during the shooting. Officials did not respond to further questions about the terms of his parole, and it is unclear whether he is the father of the child. It is unclear if Hernandez has an attorney in the capital murder case.
On Sunday, there were no visible signs of Saturday’s violence. The hospital was open and treating patients. A Methodist police car was parked outside the emergency room and a DPD car sat near the parking lot.
Police did not provide a potential motive for the shooting or whether the workers were targeted. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a tweet that the shooting took place near the labor and delivery section of the hospital.
There were no visible signs on Sunday of violence that had occurred the day before. The hospital was receiving patients and operating as usual. A Methodist spokesperson said the hospital was in the “early planning stages” of a vigil to honor the slain workers.
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 to a friend of the victim.
The victim walked towards the group to confront them. The person with Hernandez apologized and invited the victim into his 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 gun at his face and demanded possessions. The victim resisted and was repeatedly whipped while Hernandez searched his pockets, according to court documents.
The victim was hospitalized with multiple injuries, authorities said. Shortly after the robbery, Hernandez was arrested during a traffic stop. A police officer noticed blood inside the car, and Hernandez also had heroin and a .38 caliber pistol, authorities said. The person with Hernandez had credit cards with the name of the robbery victim, according to court documents.
Hernandez pleaded guilty to a robbery charge and was sentenced to two years in prison, according to court documents.
The second robbery took place in January 2015. The victim of the robbery was entering her Dallas apartment when a man and a woman pulled her down and threatened to kill her. With his hands around his neck, the man forced the victim into his apartment and demanded money and possessions, police said.
The victim grabbed a knife inside the apartment and tried to fight back, police say, but was overpowered by the two thieves, who taped her head and locked her in a bathroom while they ransacked his apartment. They stole his car, phone and about $3,000 in cash for a school fundraiser before leaving, authorities said.
The victim was taken to hospital with a broken nose and a broken bone around his eye. Hernandez and a woman were later arrested in the victim’s car. The stolen money has been recovered, according to the police.
Hernandez pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Hernandez did not serve his full sentence and was released on parole.
Hospital management said in a written statement on Saturday that it had lost two “beloved team members.”
“The Methodist Health System family is heartbroken over the loss of two of our beloved team members. Our entire organization is mourning this unimaginable tragedy,” the general management of the hospital system said. “Our prayers go out to our lost colleagues and their families, and to our entire Methodist family. We appreciate the community support during this difficult time.
The Texas Nurses Association said in a statement on Saturday that violence in the workplace has increased since before the pandemic, and that the rate of violence against nurses is three times higher than for all other professions.
“No one should fear for their life just to go to work, especially a nurse or healthcare worker whose passion is helping others heal,” said Dr. Serena Bumpus, the association’s chief executive. “We hope our legislators will understand that we need to protect our healthcare workers.”
About four months ago, Irving officers fatally shot an armed patient in an emergency room after a nurse said he had a gun. The man shot officers when they confronted him.
Writer Lana Ferguson contributed to this report.
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