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Vigils Planned for Hospital Shooting Victims Today

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Candles for vigil | Image by Shutterstock

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Two vigils and a moment of silence will be held on Wednesday, October 26, for the two victims of the Methodist Dallas Medical Center shooting on Saturday morning.

KDFW reported that these vigils would be held at 6:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. in the Pavilion 2 parking garage of the hospital.

Nurse Katie Flowers, 63, and social worker Jacqueline Pokuaa, 43, were shot by the alleged gunman, Nestor Hernandez, 30. Hernandez is a parolee who had received permission to be at the hospital for the birth of his child.

He had been convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to eight years in prison but was released after serving six, as reported by The Dallas Express.

After violating parole twice, Hernandez was turned over to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). The TDCJ fitted him with an ankle monitor in September and approved his hospital visit.

A spokesman for the department of criminal justice said there had been no indication that Hernandez would be violent. Furthermore, his visit was not out of the ordinary course of supervision.

Hernandez’s first victim, Pokuaa, was shot upon entering the room where Hernandez was with his girlfriend. Flowers was shot after looking into the room after hearing gunfire, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

A Methodist Health System police officer then shot the gunman in the leg. Stabilized, he was taken to another hospital.

Pokuaa was originally from Ghana and attended the University of Texas at Arlington. She received her master’s in social work in 2019.

“This is a big tragedy in the family, the community, in the medical field,” Aba Amprofi-Halm of the Ghana Nurses Association said to WFAA. “When there is chaos, (Pokuaa was) very calm, and that’s her personality. And that’s what she died doing … she died helping.”

A co-worker of Flowers explained that she was a “great caring nurse who loves her job.”

A moment of silence was held on Wednesday from noon to 12:01 p.m, according to a release from the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council.

President and CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth hospital council, Stephen Love, expressed, “This is our way of offering our prayers and condolences to the two healthcare employees who tragically lost their lives as well as to their families and fellow employees.”

“It’s also an opportunity to create awareness of the increasing workplace violence at our hospitals. Our healthcare workforce has been dealing with this dangerous increase for a very long time,” he continued.

A gofundme was created for the Flowers family. All proceeds will help cover funeral costs, estate expenses, and other costs associated with the victim’s death.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted that his office was working to help Pokuaa’s mother in Ghana get a visa to attend her daughter’s funeral.

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