Suspect in fatal Methodist Dallas shooting on parole, at hospital for birth of his child

Dallas police

By Michael Williams

Dallas police
Dallas police respond to an active shooter incident at Methodist Dallas Medical Center on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. Two nurses were shot during the incident, according to police. / Photo Credit: Liesbeth Powers/The Dallas Morning News

A man facing a capital murder charge in the shooting at Methodist Dallas Medical Center that left two dead over the weekend was a parolee at the hospital because his girlfriend gave birth to their child, according to court records and a prison official.

Nestor Oswaldo Hernandez was released from prison last October after serving time for aggravated robbery, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesperson told The Dallas Morning News. Hernandez was granted permission to be at the hospital “to be with his significant other during delivery,” the prison spokesperson said.

Authorities said Hernandez, 30, walked into Methodist hospital about 11 a.m. Saturday and opened fire — killing two medical workers before he was shot and wounded by a hospital police officer. The employees have not been identified. Dallas police and hospital officials declined Sunday to release new information, including the jobs of the two people slain.

An arrest-warrant affidavit said Hernandez was at the hospital with his girlfriend, who had given birth to their child, when he began “acting strangely.” He accused her of cheating and searched the room to see if anyone was there, WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reported.

He pulled out a handgun and struck his girlfriend with it several times in the head, the affidavit alleges. The girlfriend told police he told her “We are both going to die today,” and “Whoever comes in this room is going to die with us,” according to the affidavit.

The affidavit alleges Hernandez fatally shot the first victim when the person entered the room. Then, the warrant alleges, Hernandez shot the second victim, who looked into the room after the gunshot. A Methodist Health Systems officer also heard the shot and took cover before shooting Hernandez in the right leg.

Hernandez, served a two-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to a 2011 robbery, and a another stint after pleading guilty to a 2015 robbery. In both cases, the victims were badly beaten before property was stolen.

One of the conditions of Hernandez’s parole is electronic monitoring, the TDCJ spokesperson said. Dallas police said Hernandez was wearing an ankle monitor during the shooting. Officials did not answer further questions about the terms of his parole. It’s unclear if Hernandez has an attorney in the capital murder case.

Police have not provided a potential motive for the shooting or said whether the workers were targeted. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a tweet the shooting took place near the hospital’s labor and delivery section.

There were no visible signs Sunday of violence that occurred over the previous day. The hospital was seeing patients and operating as usual. A Methodist spokesperson said the hospital was in the “early planning stages” of a vigil honoring the workers who were killed.

Past violence

The first robbery took place in December 2011, when Hernandez was 19, according to court records. 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 toward a friend of the victim.

The victim walked over to the group to confront them. The person with Hernandez apologized and invited the victim into their car to share a cigarette, according to apolice report.

When the victim sat in the front passenger seat of the car, the person with Hernandez pointed a silver revolver in his face and demanded property. The victim resisted, and was pistol-whipped several times while Hernandez went through his pockets, according to court documents.

The victim was hospitalized with several injuries, authorities said. Shortly after the robbery, Hernandez was pulled over in a traffic stop. A police officer noticed blood inside the car, and Hernandez also had heroin and a .38-caliber gun, authorities said. The person with Hernandez had credit cards with the robbery victim’s name, according to court documents.

Hernandez pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery and was sentenced to two years in prison, according to legal documents.

The second robbery took place in January 2015. The robbery victim was walking into her Dallas apartment when a man and woman pulled her down and threatened to kill her. With his hands around her neck, the man forced the victim into her apartment and demanded money and property, according to police.

The victim grabbed a knife inside the apartment and tried to defend herself, according to police, but she was overpowered by both robbers, who covered her head with duct tape and locked her in a bathroom while they ransacked her apartment. They stole her car, phone and about $3,000 in cash for a school fundraiser before leaving, authorities said.

The victim was taken to a hospital with a broken nose and a broken bone around her eye. Hernandez and a woman were later pulled over in the victim’s car. The stolen money was recovered, according to police.

Hernandez pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Hernandez did not serve his full sentence and was paroled.

‘Beloved team members’

The hospital’s leadership said in a written statement Saturday they had lost two “beloved team members.”

“The Methodist Health System Family is heartbroken at the loss of two of our beloved team members. Our entire organization is grieving this unimaginable tragedy,” the hospital system’s executive leadership said. “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.”

The Texas Nurses Association said in a statement Saturday workplace violence has been increasing since before the pandemic, and the rate of violence against nurses is three times greater than for all other professions.

“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,” said Dr. Serena Bumpus, chief executive of the association. “We hope our legislators 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 gun. The man fired at officers when they confronted him.

3 children shot in Fort Worth drive-by; 17-year-old and 5-year-old killed

police
police
File photo.(Max Faulkner / TNS)

By Michael Williams

Three minors were shot during a drive-by shooting in Fort Worth Sunday afternoon, leaving a 17-year-old and a 5-year-old dead, according to police.

The third victim, an 18-month-old toddler, survived the shooting, which took place in the 8500 block of Steel Dust Drive, off Old Decatur Road, Fort Worth police Chief Neil Noakes said.

Several people called 911 to report the gunfire about 2:13 p.m., Noakes said. First responders treated all three victims at the scene. The two older children were pronounced dead, while the toddler received what Noakes described as “minor” injuries and is expected to survive.

Noakes said several suspects drove to the house in a car and opened fire on a group of people standing in the home’s front yard before fleeing.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing violent crime here in Fort Worth in numbers we don’t want to see,” Noakes said. “But when you have children who were murdered completely senselessly, it adds just another level to that tragedy we are experiencing.”

Noakes said police would be pursuing “every resource necessary” to find the shooters. There’s “a potential” each of the victims were related, he said.

The chief did not provide a description of the shooters, their car or say what may have led to the shooting.

Anybody with information or footage of the shooting should call Fort Worth police at 817-392-4336.

Lancaster youth football coach Mike Hickmon should be alive today

Mike Hickmon

By Dallas Morning News Editorial

Mike Hickmon
Mike Hickmon played for North Texas football from 1998 to 2002.(Courtesy/UNT athletics)

Mike Hickmon should be alive today. He should be with his children and his wife. He should be doing what he loved to do: coaching football, teaching the game he played.

But he is dead because of the sort of senseless, stupid violence that this nation is awash in.

Hickmon was gunned down during a fight that broke out among coaches at a preseason peewee football game in Lancaster. A preseason peewee football game.

What could have possibly been so important that this man lost his life?

Hickmon’s killing sickens the heart because there is just no reason for this. Like so many killings that we write about now, the combination of anger and a gun led to a tragedy that will bring pain for generations.

The suspect in the case, Yaqub Salik Talib, appears to have been involved in the fight. His attorney has said that the case has “heavy defensive overtones.”

We don’t know what that’s supposed to mean.

What we do know is that there was a solution here that could have spared this man’s life. And that was for people to just walk away.

The “tough guy” sense that a person can never back down from a fight is at the root of too much violence now. And the thought that a gun is a solution only promises that the damage will be that much more terrible.

People need to remember that the courageous thing, the mature thing and the right thing to do is usually just to walk away.

If we could convince more young men of that, maybe we wouldn’t have to hear stories like this one so often. Maybe more men could be home with their families instead of dead and gone for no good reason at all.

People who remember Mike Hickmon remember a gentle, kind person who was a leader for others. In a better society, he would be alive today.

Weighing in on Supreme Court decisions

Weighing in on Supreme Court decisions

MIRANDA

Since 1966, citizens could count on protection against self-incrimination by pro-hibiting sanctions against police officers who fail to advise a suspect of their Miranda Rights:

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court. You have the right to talk to a lawyer for advice before we ask you any questions. You have the right to have a lawyer with you during questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish. If you decide to answer questions now without a lawyer present, you have the right to stop answering at any time.

The Supreme Court has voted to limit the ability to enforce those rights, noting that suspects who aren’t warned about their right to remain silent can no longer sue an officer under federal civil rights laws.

ROE v. WADE

In 1973, the Supreme Court issued a 7–2 decision that protected a pregnant woman’s right to an abortion.

This month, both decisions were overturned.

Here are perspectives from members of our Editorial Team:

ANGELINA LIU

ANGELINA LIU

Roe v. Wade

I’m annoyed and angry that Roe v. Wade was overturned. I believe that the government should not decide what women do with their bodies. Women should have a choice when it comes to their bodies. Being pro-choice is not pro-abortion. Pro-choice gives her and other women an option on whether they want an abortion or not. Overturning Roe v. Wade is a step backwards.

Miranda Rights

Miranda Rights not being read impacts uneducated people. Educated people are protected because of their knowledge about Miranda Rights. People from lower economic backgrounds are not and that is unfair.

Angelina Liu is a senior at Coppell High School.

NYCORTA MABRY, JR.

NYCORTA MABRY, JR.

Roe v. Wade

It seems like there’s so many other issues that should be focused on which makes me question why it is so important to them. Obviously, they want some type of control, but I feel like it has to be deeper than that. What is it that they’re gaining with overturning those rules?

With everything taken away and stripping women of their right to think for themselves, we’re trying to get back to a place of freedom; financial and emotional.

Miranda Rights

My parents are police officers, so I know a bit about Miranda rights and how important they are. There are several instances when officers have not treated brown and black individuals with the same spirit that they might with others. So you’ve already had that situation happen and then you add this into the equation. It just gives us another opportunity for an officer whose job is to protect and serve to use his authority to demean. Now, because they’re protected by law, they can legally do it.

Nycorta Mabry, Jr. is a junior at Grambling State University

MAYA PALAVALI

MAYA PALAVALI

Roe v. Wade

It’s a catalyst to who is in charge. It is worrisome for everyone, especially in minority communities, but it’s important for us to not lose hope. I found out on Instagram, but I’m honestly numb to it because we’ve become so desensitized to the things going on in the world as a result of social media.”

Miranda Rights

I think it is disappointing. I was just finding out about the Miranda Rights situation but there are communities that will be affected.”

Maya Palavali is a senior at Coppell High School.

ASIA N. ALCORN

ASIA N. ALCORN

Roe v. Wade

I am a mother. It’s just a lot to take in. It was a tough decision, but I made the decision that was right for me and what I believe in, and I also believe that women should have a choice.

It’s very frustrating to see men making rules about women’s bodies, what they can and cannot do. I’m very disappointed.

The decision isn’t going to prevent people from getting abortions. It’s just gonna prevent women from getting or anyone from getting safe abortions because people if they want one, they will go out of their way to make it happen.

This is actually going to harm so many people. Because of this one decision along the process, you have to think about so many other different situations like people who have been assaulted, or young women or people who are pregnant and they have to carry a baby full term, but that doesn’t guarantee that they’re gonna make it through the pregnancy.

Miranda Rights

It will cause a lot of damage more than anything because people should know their rights, but some people are not knowledgeable about that stuff. So if they were to be arrested, there are possibilities that they will incriminate themselves.

Asia N. Alcorn is a Senior at the University of North Texas.

KENDALL WASHINGTON

KENDALL WASHINGTON

Roe v. Wade

“I believe Roe v Wade being overturned is unfortunate, especially when the people who made the decision were concerned about babies being murdered. They were more concerned about the white population declining because the white people were afraid of being the minorities. I also believe that the reason why people get abortions most of the time isn’t because they don’t want to have a baby is because of their health reasons. Or in some cases, because the woman was raped and she doesn’t feel comfortable having the baby or because she can’t afford to have the baby, or because it may be sick, and it needs to, it wouldn’t be able to make it. So there’s a lot of reasons why people behind why people have abortions. I also believe that the people who are pro life really aren’t pro life, and that they should be more concerned about getting rid of the death penalty. They should be more concerned about African American men being killed by police.”

Miranda Rights

“I believe that Miranda Rights being taken away from citizens is definitely wrong because a lot of people need to understand what they’re entering when they are being arrested and being taken under police custody. A lot of people don’t know the rights that they have. They may be uneducated, they may be homeless and they don’t know what’s going on. They don’t know the current events. So I believe it is unfair that people aren’t being read their rights.”

Kendall Washington is a senior at Bishop Dunne High School.

INIYA V. NATHAN

INIYA V. NATHAN

Roe v. Wade

It was a shock to see in the beginning they were even thinking about overturning Roe v. Wade. I hoped if the majority of the people didn’t want it to be overturned then it wouldn’t be. However, we know that now to be false. I wish the people had more knowledge about what was going on before a decision was made. It’s not fair for someone to just say, ‘Well, I’m conservative and anti-abortion, so therefore abortion shouldn’t be legal.’ The entire point behind the initial ruling is people should have a right to privacy. Now, I’m trying to comprehend how this new ruling is going to affect everyone else and other rulings related to privacy.

Miranda Rights:

I genuinely don’t see any good coming out of this ruling. People should know their rights when they get arrested; it’s a basic norm. These rights were created specifically to prevent self-in-crimination. There’s a possibility people could be arrested falsely and or unfairly. I feel as though this new ruling only protects the police and not the victims. From a political standpoint, I believe protecting the police over the people isn’t the right thing to do right now.

Iniya V. Nathan is a senior at Coppell High School.

Supreme Court Protects Cops Who Fail to Issue Miranda Rights

Supreme Court

By Stacy M. Brown

ANALYSIS:

In an America where Black citizens especially have legitimate concerns when interacting with law enforcement, the Supreme Court has added to those fears after its latest ruling.

The high court has struck a blow against an individual’s protection against self-incrimination by prohibiting sanctions against police officers who fail to read a suspect their Miranda rights.

The justices voted Thursday to limit the ability to enforce those rights, noting that suspects who aren’t warned about their right to remain silent can no longer sue an officer under federal civil rights laws.

Further, the opinion noted that even if the evidence is obtained by police officers when they fail to read Miranda rights, an individual can’t use that in a potential criminal trial.

The court declared that the Miranda warning still protects a constitutional right, but the notice itself is not a right that would trigger the ability to bring a civil lawsuit.

Family describes threats, beatings of Arlington school shooting suspect who is now free on bond

Family and friends of Timothy George Simpkins
Timothy George Simpkins, 18, was named as a suspect in the shooting at the high school, and was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon about 1:20 p.m.
Family and friends of Timothy George Simpkins
Family and friends of Timothy George Simpkins, 18, who was named as a suspect in the shooting at Timberview High School on Wednesday, surround him as he arrives home in Arlington on Thursday after being released on bond.(Tom Fox / Staff Photographer)

By Maggie ProsserValeria Olivares and Kevin Krause

The suspect in the Arlington school shooting posted bond and was released from the Tarrant County jail about the same time his family wrote Thursday online that he’d been “threatened, beaten and harassed” since the beginning of the school year.

The Facebook post attributed to his family said school authorities had done nothing about the bullying.

Timothy George Simpkins, 18, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon about 1:20 p.m. after the morning shooting at Timberview High School in Arlington that left four injured. Simpkins had been held at the Arlington jail and transferred to the Tarrant County jail about 9 a.m. Thursday.

He faces three charges of aggravated assault. His bail was set at $75,000, according to jail records. He turned himself in with the help of an attorney but it’s unclear who represents him.

Simpkins was placed on house arrest as a condition of his bond, according to court documents. He can’t possess a gun and must stay 1,000 feet away from Timberview. He was also ordered not to contact any of the people injured.

Asked what is next for Simpkins after he was released, a family attorney told the assembled media he needed to finish school.

“You’re aware there’s a difference between a mass shooting, a school shooting,” Kim Cole said. “These are people who are out to shoot multiple people and that’s not what happened.”

The motivations of the alleged attacker remain unknown, but he apparently acted after a fight, and family members said he had been bullied.

“Recently he was ambushed by a group of young males outside of school, stripped of his clothing in front of a crowd of onlookers, and robbed of his money and possessions,” the Facebook post says.

“All of these occurrences were brought to the attention” of school officials, “And absolutely nothing was done to protect my son. He became depressed and some days did not even want to get out of bed,” the post says. “I am certain that he was fearful for his safety and felt that he had no support from those in authority whose responsibility it was to protect him.”

While making sure to not excuse any use of a gun, the post adds that Simpkins’ own father was brutally murdered. “And this fact definitely heightened Timothy’s fear for his life — not to mention that the young men responsible for beating and harassing him recently made threats to kill him,” the post says, “So you see, my son was terrified and believed he would be murdered just like his father.”

Hope Boyd, Mansfield ISD’s director of communications and marketing, said in an email that a “thorough investigation into yesterday’s incident is still ongoing, so specific details cannot be addressed at this time.”

”What we can say is that the safety and security of our students and staff — both physically and social-emotionally — has always been and will remain our [No. 1] priority. Every report that we receive of a potential bullying situation is thoroughly investigated and goes through the proper processes in order to assess and determine the appropriate consequence.”

Boyd included a link to the district’s anti-bullying webpage, which described the district’s definitions for bullying, procedures on how to determine if certain actions meet the “legal definition” of bullying, and how to report such conduct.

What we know about Simpkins and the shooting:

  • He is an 18-year-old student at Timberview High School in Arlington, which lies within the Mansfield Independent School District.
  • Family said Thursday in the Facebook post that he was a straight-A student who attended private school until recently and had an impressive GPA.
  • Carol Harrison Lafayette, a relative speaking for the family, said Wednesday that Simpkins is an outgoing, well-liked, loving person, who was excited to graduate from high school.
  • The family said he wants to be an engineer. “Timothy has always been a kind and thoughtful child who loves to learn,” the post says. “Because he spends so much time focusing on his studies, most of his relatives call him the ‘little nerd’ of the family.”
  • A fight reportedly broke out in a second-story classroom at the school Wednesday morning, followed by the shooting. The suspect left after the shooting.
  • A social media video circulating appears to show someone who looks like Simpkins in a fight at the school, but police said they can’t verify that it is from the school yet.
  • Police said they don’t know how the shooter got a gun into the school. Grand Prairie police recovered a .45-caliber handgun on England Parkway and federal authorities are seeking to determine whether it was used in the shooting.
  • Police began to look for the car Simpkins drives, a 2018 silver Dodge Charger. The vehicle was found at an apartment complex in Grand Prairie.
  • Simpkins turned himself in to authorities at about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, and with an attorney, he spoke with detectives.
  • About 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, a SWAT team executed a search warrant at the home where he lives with his grandmother. The Edgefield neighborhood is a relatively new development with limestone and brick facades.
  • Simpkins’ social media accounts appear to have been active early Wednesday but the accounts are no longer available.

Staff writers Corbett Smith and Tom Steele and researchers Naomi Kaskela, Ana Niño and Erin Sood contributed to this report.

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