DALLAS — A suspect was shot and arrested by Methodist Hospital police after he fatally shot two hospital employees on Saturday morning, officials said.
Police said the suspect, 30-year-old Nestor Hernandez, has now been charged with capital murder.
Hernandez was already on parole for aggravated robbery and was wearing an active ankle monitor.
"The Methodist Health System Family is heartbroken at the loss of two of our beloved team members," Methodist Health System Executive leadership said in a 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."
Both victims were identified as Jacqueline Pokuaa, 45, and Annette Flowers, 63, who were the two Methodist employees who died in the shooting.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia publicly identified the two victims during a news conference on Monday afternoon. Police said Katie Flowers is the second victim's legal name, but friends told WFAA that she goes by Annette.
At about 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, Dallas officers responded to Methodist Hospital in the 1400 block of N. Beckley Avenue following reports of a shooting.
According to an arrest warrant obtained by WFAA, Hernandez went to the hospital to visit his girlfriend who had given birth to their child. The warrant stated that Hernandez began "acting strangely" and accused his girlfriend of cheating on him,
The suspect than started searching the room his girlfriend was recovering from labor in to see if anyone else was in there, according to the warrant. The warrant then stated that Hernandez pulled out a handgun and hit his girlfriend in the head multiple times with it.
According to the warrant, his girlfriend told police that Hernandez made statements such as, "We are both going to die today," and "Whoever comes in this room is going to die with us."
The warrant stated that Pokuaa entered the room and was fatally shot by Hernandez. According to the warrant, Flowers and Methodist Hospital police officer Sgt. Robert Rangel were in the hallway and heard the gunshot.
The warrant stated that Flowers then looked into the room and was also fatally shot by Hernandez. Rangel then took cover and shot Hernandez in the right leg, according to the warrant.
At a press conference on Monday, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said that Hernandez reportedly reloaded his weapon and started to leave the room, still armed with his gun, when Rangel shot him. After being shot, Garcia said, Hernandez went back into the room and engaged in a brief standoff with police before being taken into custody.
Hernandez was then detained and taken to another hospital for treatment, police said.
Police have not released any further information at this time concerning any motive that might have led to the shooting.
Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) tells WFAA that an investigation was opened Saturday as a result of the shooting but said the family has no prior history with the department. CPS added that there is a possibility the baby might be placed in foster care, but said its investigation is ongoing.
Garcia tweeted on Saturday that the Dallas Police Department's hearts go out to those affected by the shooting, adding that he was "outraged" at the "lack of accountability" in the justice system. Garcia further said that "the fact that, under this broken system, we give violent criminals more chances than our victims" is a "travesty."
Added Garcia: "The pendulum has swung too far."
In a statement released Saturday, Dr. Serena Bumpus, RN, CEO of the Texas Nurses Association (TNA), called the shooting at Methodist "unacceptable."
According to the TNA statement, which cites figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace violence rates have been increasing across all workgroups since before the pandemic, but nurses endure a violence rate 12.7 violent events per 10,000 full-time workers -- about three times greater than "all other professions."
On average, the TNA statement adds while citing a recent Press Ganey report, two nurses were assaulted every hour in the second quarter of 2022 across America, which translates to a rate of 57 assaults per day.
"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," Bumpus said in the TNA statement. "We hope our legislators understand that we need to protect our healthcare workers."
This is a developing story. Stay with WFAA for more information as it becomes available.