The suspect in the weekend shooting in a Dallas hospital hit his girlfriend in her labor and delivery room before he opened fire and killed two employees, police alleged.
Dallas police on Monday shared a timeline of the shooting Saturday at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, which killed two staffers, identified as Jacqueline Pokuaa, 45, and Katie Flowers, 63.
The suspect, Nestor Hernandez, 30, was charged with capital murder. Hernandez is a parolee who was released from jail last October after having served jail time for aggravated robbery, and he was wearing an “active ankle monitor,” police said.
The state Criminal Justice Department said he was granted permission to be at the hospital with his significant other for the delivery of her baby.
Hernandez arrived at 10:21 a.m. for the delivery.
During the hospital visit he “pulled a handgun from his pants and hit the patient repeatedly,” police said in an update.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia said it was not clear exactly what caused the gunman to be violent.
“He was acting very strange throughout the period of time there. He was wondering who else had been in the room, things of that nature. Honestly, we don’t know what set him off,” Garcia said at a news conference Monday.
When Pokuaa entered the room to provide “routine services” to the patient, Hernandez shot her once, police alleged.
Flowers heard the gunfire and looked into the room. The gunman fired from the doorway and hit her in the hallway, police said.
Sgt. Robert Rangel was a few doors down investigating a stolen property call when he heard the gunfire. He witnessed Flowers being shot and called for help on his radio, police said.
Hernandez then reportedly reloaded his weapon and started to leave the room with the gun, the police statement said.
Rangel fired one shot from his department weapon and hit Hernandez in the leg.
The gunman went back into the room after he was shot, and after a standoff with police, he ultimately surrendered and was taken into custody, officials said.
Both hospital employees died of their injuries.
The American Nurses Association said in a statement Monday that Flowers was a nurse. Police officials described the two victims as a nurse and a case manager.
“We mourn for the individuals who horrifically lost their lives, and we extend heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims,” American Nurses Association President Ernest J. Grant said. “Time is up. Violence against health care employees is unacceptable. This must end now.”
Police said that the patient who was assaulted before the shooting was treated and that the newborn child was not injured.
Hernandez was treated at Methodist Hospital, stabilized and moved to another hospital for further treatment.
His condition was not clear. It was not clear Tuesday morning whether he had retained an attorney.
Investigations into the homicides and the officer-involved shooting continue, police said.
Garcia denounced the shooting, saying, “We lost two health care workers who were going about their day caring for others.”
He called the shooting “a failure of the criminal justice system.”
He said Hernandez’s criminal history spans aggravated assault of a public servant, burglary, aggravated robbery and several parole violations.
"A violent individual such as this should not have been on an ankle monitor and should have remained in custody,” Garcia said.