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Federal investigators tracing gun used in Dallas hospital shooting


The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives is working to trace the gun police say was used to kill two people at Methodist Dallas Medical Center this weekend.

A spokesperson for the ATF told KERA News the bureau is also working with Dallas police as needed in order to learn the origin of the gun, which police say Nestor Hernandez possessed despite being convicted of a felony and on parole.

Meanwhile, one state leader is calling for greater accountability from the state's parole board.

State Rep. Rafael Anchía sent out a letter Wednesday to the state auditor asking to investigate the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and the decisions that allowed Hernandez to be at the hospital.

“Two people should still be alive today but for the failures of the Board of Pardons and Parole," Anchía said. "They have wide latitude to keep people in jail if they see risk and they did not protect my community from this risk."

Members of the board are appointed by the governor.

Police say the 30-year-old Hernandez shot and killed Methodist employees Jaqueline Pokuaa, 45, and Katie Flowers, 63, after striking his girlfriend with the gun. A hospital police sergeant nearby at the time and called for help on his radio.

Hernandez was later arrested after a standoff with police, according to DPD.

Hernandez had been granted permission to be at the hospital to be with his significant other on the day of the shooting. Records reviewed by KERA show he had been convicted of multiple felonies since 2011, including aggravated robbery in 2015.

Hernandez had also violated his parole twice this year, according to The Dallas Morning News.

“They should have revoked his parole. They did not," Anchía said. "He was given special permission to go to Methodist Hospital despite the fact that he was violating his parole on a regular basis. So I think we need answers from that entity.”

The Board declined a request for comment but referred KERA to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which supervises parolees.

Amanda Hernandez, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said in an email to KERA that there "was not an indication that (Nestor) Hernandez would act out violently in a hospital."

Anchía says he has not yet gotten a response from the board or the department but said he hopes the state auditor will look at "every angle" of the tragedy "from top to bottom."

Got a tip? Email Pablo Arauz Peña at parauzpena@kera.org

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Pablo Arauz Peña