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Who is Nestor Hernandez, the man charged with capital murder in the fatal shootings of two Methodist Hospital employees?

In 2015, Hernandez was given eight years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery. The 30-year-old was released on parole in October 2021.

DALLAS — Shortly after 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dallas Police offers responded to reports of a shooting at Methodist Hospital in Oak Cliff. 

Upon arrival, police said they found two hospital employees shot and killed near the mother and baby area on the fourth floor of the hospital. They also said they detained a suspect in the shooting -- a man who had been shot and injured by the Methodist Health System police officer that first responded to the scene.

Friends and family of employees at the hospital described a scene in which workers at the hospital were running for cover and hiding from an active shooter after hearing gun shots ring out on the hospital's fourth floor.

The man law enforcement detained was stabilized and transported to another hospital to be treated for his injuries. 

He was later identified by Dallas Police as 30-year-old Nestor Oswaldo Hernandez.

Who is Nestor Hernandez?

Hernandez is local and briefly attended W.T. White High School in North Dallas of the Dallas Independent School District.

Hernandez appeared in Dallas County courts on multiple charges as a young man -- including a 2012 robbery conviction and a 2009 delinquent conduct constituting the felony offense of assault of a public servant -- before ultimately accepting a plea deal on an aggravated robbery charge he faced in 2015. 

A first-degree felony, aggravated robbery charges carry sentences of five to 99 years or life in prison, as well as an optional fine not to exceed $10,000. 

Per his plea agreement in the aggravated assault -- dated September 15, 2015 -- Hernandez was given eight years in prison for pleading guilty to the charges.

In a tweet on Saturday, Dallas Police Department Chief Eddie Garcia called the shooting a "tragedy" and "an abhorrent failure of our criminal justice system."

According to DPD, Hernandez was out on parole at the time of the shooting on Saturday and wearing an active ankle monitor. 

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) confirms Hernandez was released on parole on Oct. 20, 2021.

Why was Nestor Hernandez incarcerated?

According to an indictment, Hernandez and an accomplice named Selena Villatoro were arrested on January 17, 2015, on charges of aggravated robbery.

Per the indictment, Hernandez and Villatoro were suspected of approaching a woman as she entered her North Dallas apartment, striking her in the back of the head, pulling her to the ground by her hair, putting their hands around her throat, telling her "Don't scream or I'll kill you!" and demanding that she open the door to her apartment.

The indictment further adds that, once they forced their way inside the apartment, the suspects told the victim, "Don't look at us or we'll kill you!" before striking her again, demanding property and money and scouring the apartment for valuables. As the suspects "ransacked" the victims apartment, the indictment continues, the victim found a knife on the floor and attempted to defend herself, leading to a struggle over the knife before the victim was struck again and forced into the bathroom, her hands tied together and her eyes covered with tape. 

Per the indictment, the suspects took a cellphone, a car, $3,000 in cash from a school fundraiser and other documents from the victim before leaving the apartment. According to the indictment, Hernandez and Villatoro were arrested in a different part of town later that day on unrelated charges of public intoxication and traffic ticket warrants. The affidavit notes that the suspects were driving the victim's car at the time of that arrest, and that officers recovered backpacks, cash and other property identified as belonging to the victim, although the suspects maintained all of it belonged to them.

While being interrogated, the indictment says, Villatoro confessed to injecting heroin earlier in the evening. 

Both Hernandez and Villatoro later pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault for the January 17, 2015 complaint. According to their plea agreements, Hernandez was given eight years in prison for his plea, and Villatoro was given five years.

Former Dallas County prosecutor Toby Shook says the 2015 crime should have had a minimum sentence of 25 years because of Hernandez's criminal history, and that the plea agreement for 8 years doesn't make sense. 

“Why they did that isn’t clear but that clearly gave him an avenue to get out of prison early and with his violent history, that’s a very dangerous thing for the public," Shook said. “It’s not that complicated. You have a violent offender who has a long history of violence. Using your common sense, he’s going to commit more violent crimes.”

According to TDJC, Hernandez was released on parole for aggravated robbery on October 21, 2021, with a special condition of electronic ankle monitoring.

Crime has been a common political point this year on each side of the aisle, but Shook notes the system failed repeatedly. In 2011, the county had a Democrat DA. The 2015 deal was brokered by a Republican DA. The parole board that let Hernandez out is appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott.

What was Nestor Hernandez doing while on parole?

Nestor Hernandez was arrested twice this year while out on parole, law enforcement sources confirm to WFAA.

Dallas Police arrested Hernandez on March 9 for a parole violation during a minor accident investigation and released shortly thereafter, law enforcement sources said.

Carrollton Police tell WFAA that its officers also arrested Nestor Hernandez in June. 

On June 17, two Carrollton Police officers observed and recognized Hernandez walking though the parking lot of an apartment building located at 1910 S. Josey Lane while they were working a separate drug case. Officers were aware of a "full extradition warrant" for Hernandez from the Texas Pardon and Parole Board. The officers approached and detained Hernandez, who verbally identified himself to police. 

The officers then ran a warrant check with dispatch to confirm his status and arrested him. Before placing him in their police car, officers said, Hernandez intentionally headbutted the vehicle, causing a "slight dent."

He was booked into Carrollton jail without incident, then released to his parole officer.

Credit: Carrollton Police Department
Nestor Hernandez -- June 17, 2022 mugshot from Carrollton Police Department

Why was Nestor Hernandez at Methodist Hospital on Saturday?

TDCJ confirmed that Hernandez was "granted permission to be at the hospital with his significant other during delivery [of her child]."

According to his arrest warrant from Dallas Police, Hernandez then began "acting strangely" at the hospital and accused his girlfriend of cheating on him. The suspect started searching the room to see if anyone else was in there, according to the warrant. Hernandez then pulled out a handgun and hit his girlfriend multiple times in the head with it, the affidavit said.

Per the warrant, Hernandez then started making "ominous" calls and text messages to his family, and told his girlfriend, "We are both going to die today" and "whoever comes in this room is going to die with us."

The warrant stated that the first victim, Jacqueline Pokuaa, then entered the room and was fatally shot by Hernandez. According to the warrant, the second victim, Annette 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 to see the first victim's body, and was also fatally shot by Hernandez.

Sgt. Rangel then took cover and shot Hernandez in the right leg, according to the warrant.

Hernandez was then detained and taken to another hospital for treatment. He has since been charged with capital murder. 

This is a developing story. Stay with WFAA for more information as it becomes available.


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