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Terror, chaos erupt inside Dallas Methodist hospital during police standoff, footage shows

The shooting killed nurse Katie Annette Flowers and social worker Jacqueline Ama Pokuaa.

By Kelli Smith and Jamie Landers

Dallas police officers responding
Video released of Dallas police officers responding to the Methodist Hospital shooting, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. Nestor Hernandez is accused of shooting two workers at Methodist Hospital in Oak Cliff over the weekend. Courtesy: Dallas Police Department (Courtesy of Dallas Police Department)

Moments after a gunman fatally shot two medical workers inside a Dallas hospital, a woman barricaded with him and their newborn pleadedfor him to surrender peacefully and for officers to spare his life.

“Don’t do this, please don’t do this, I’m begging you,” she wailed as officers aimed their guns toward the labor and delivery room.

Nestor Oswaldo Hernandez
Nestor Oswaldo Hernandez(Dallas County Sheriff’s Departme)

Nurse Katie Annette Flowers and social worker Jacqueline Ama Pokuaa died after they were shot Oct. 22 inside the hospital in north Oak Cliff. Nestor Oswaldo Hernandez, 30, faces charges of capital murder and aggravated assault of a public servant.

Hernandez remains in the Dallas County jail with bail set at $3 million. His attorney declined to comment.

Police said that Hernandez, a parolee with an active ankle monitor, was inside the hospital’s labor and delivery wing for the birth of his child when he began to act strange and accused his girlfriend of cheating on him. He pulled a gun from his pants and began to hit her with it repeatedly while their newborn was in the room, police said. He also declared, “Whoever comes in this room is going to die with us,” according to an arrest-warrant affidavit.

Pokuaa was shot when she went into the room to provide routine patient services, Dallas police Chief Eddie García has said. Flowers then looked inside the room and Hernandez shot her, he said.

A Methodist police sergeant heard gunfire and saw when Flowers was shot, police have said. Hernandez reloaded his weapon, then began to leave the room. The officer shot Hernandez in the leg and heretreated into the room, police said.

Hernandez surrendered after a brief standoff, police said.

The shooting spurred awareness nationwide about the dangers that medical workers face on the job and prompted criticism from García and the public about the terms of Hernandez’s parole. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating how he acquired a handgun as both a felon and parolee.

The footage released by police begins with a view of a hallway and adesk. A man, who appears to be Hernandez, waves to an employee as he grabs a face mask and walks down a hallway. The footage cuts to a long shot of a different hallway, and the man walks inside a room.

Methodist Hospital shooting
Video released of Methodist Hospital shooting suspect Nestor Hernandez before the shooting, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. Hernandez is accused of shooting two workers at Methodist Hospital in Oak Cliff over the weekend. Courtesy: Dallas Police Department(Courtesy of Dallas Police Department)

The footage cuts and then returns to the same long shot of the hallway. A Methodist police officer stands in the hallway near other hospital employees. There is no audio.

An employee suddenly stops in front of a room and points at it while looking at the Methodist officer. The officer peers inside, then jumps back multiple times and raises a gun as employees run down the hallway. Police blurred the person who pointed at the room as the employee slowly walks away.

The officer stops behind a wall one door down and peers out. Moments later, the officer runs across the hallway with his gun aimed at the door and a figure comes out for a brief moment before returning inside.

At least three other officers arrive at the end of the hallway and stand behind different walls, some with guns aimed at the door.

After several moments, the officers inch toward the door with their guns raised. One peers inside, then the officers walk backward. More officers arrive and crowd together at the end of the hallway.

An officer in the front inches a few steps forward to the door, with a gun aimed at it. The other officers follow. The first officer suddenly ducks as he peers inside the room then straightens again, his gun still pointed inside the room.

Severalofficers stand directly in front of the room, and a few enter then return and appear to carry something. It’s unclear what.

The footage cuts from the hallway to a police body camera, and there’s sound for the first time. A gunshot sounds as someone yells “oh s—!” Someone then wails and yells “stop, please.”

The officer, with a notepad in his hands, walks up to an employee and asks, “What happened?” and the employee responds, “Watch out, man, watch out!”

Another gunshot rings out, and the officer runs behind a wall as someone else screams. Another person yells “Oh my God!” as the officer raises his gun and calls out over his police radio.

A blurred figure walks to where the officer stands behind a wall, and says “I’m hurt,” then walks past him.

The officer calls out over his radio, “A man with a gun,” and then “DPD, I need ‘em out here quick.” Wails are heard from down the hallway. Multiple people yell “Oh my God!” and a man argues with someone, but they aren’t seen in the video.

Another gunshot rings out, and a woman screams.

Multiple people scream nonstop for several minutes, some yelling “Oh my God!” and “What are you doing?”

As an officer peers around the wall, his gun raised, his body camera shows two surgical gloves on the tile floor. He retreats quickly, calling in a hostage situation on his radio.

A woman screams, “You’re going to shoot the baby!” and a man yells “Put the baby in the crib!”

A few minutes later, the officer orders “Come out, over here, please come out — come outside,” followed by a woman yelling “Don’t do this, please don’t do this, I’m begging you.”

The officer, referring to the gunman as “partner,” says “We can work this out, partner. All I want to do is get the people outside, please.”

Video released of Dallas Police officers responding to the Methodist Hospital shooting, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. Nestor Hernandez is accused of shooting two workers at Methodist Hospital in Oak Cliff over the weekend. Courtesy: Dallas Police Department(Courtesy of Dallas Police Department)

In the background, another person screams “Put the baby down!” as the officer asks the gunman to throw the gun outside the room.

There is no response.

When the officer repeats “We can work this out,” a man says “We ain’t working s—- out, bro, y’all don’t know what the f— is going on, bro.”

After an exchange, a woman yells, “I ain’t going nowhere. Y’all are going to kill him.”

Minutes later, the gunman agrees to leave the room as the officer tells him to keep his hands up.

“I give you my word,” the officer says, “if he’s got nothing in his hands … .”

The woman continues screaming, pleading for the officer not to shoot him. The woman then screams “He’s going to come out, just please don’t shoot him,” and then a moment later yells, “Y’all shot him, he can’t walk.”

“Can you hear me?” the officer asks. “Work with me, man,” and the woman responds, “He’s on the floor, he needs help.”

She screams at the gunman to throw the pistol outside, adding “please, please.” Then, she tells the officers she has the gun in her possession and, moments later, tosses it outside.

Multiple officers are now in the hallway and tell the gunman to crawl out.

They ask the woman if she can leave the room, too, and she says she can’t because she’s hooked up to machines. When they tell her to unplug everything, she yells “I can’t.”

She screams, seemingly at the man, “Why would you do this? Why the f— would you do this?”

As the officers move toward the room, the video goes black because of its “graphic nature,” police said.

The woman, sobbing, says, “Please don’t shoot, please don’t shoot, please don’t shoot.”

The baby cries as a team of officers and medical staff treats the gunman. They ask for his name repeatedly, but he doesn’t answer. He asks only for water.

“Control your breathing,” an officer tells him. The man yells out in pain.

“Hang in there,” the officer says. “Your baby needs you.”

The last thing said before the footage ends is the gunman’s quiet rationale: “She’s cheatin’ on me … .”

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