Terminally ill Texas doctor held hostages, shot pediatrician and himself at her office on Tuesday


AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a hostage situation that lasted over six hours in a central Austin pediatric office, two doctors are dead: one is the victim, the other the shooter.

Austin Police Department says at 4:29 p.m. Tuesday, it was reported that the shooter, identified as Dr. Bharat Narumanchi, entered the Children’s Medical Group located at 1912 W. 35th St. with a gun and held five adult employees hostage — who commanded to tie themselves up.

While a few of the hostages were reportedly allowed to leave by Narumanchi, the victim, who APD has identified as Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson, 42, was not.

While Narumanchi, who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, didn’t work at Children’s Medical Group, police say he’d been at the office just last week to apply for a volunteer position. Narumanchi, also a pediatrician, was reportedly rejected for the role.

“We feel like his terminal cancer probably played a large part in whatever occured in his life and what was happening yesterday,” an APD officer said Wednesday. “But we don’t know why he targeted this particular business.”

It’s not believed Dodson and Narumanchi had any prior relationship.

The standoff proceeded into the night, when, after several hours of being unable to communicate with Narumanchi, loud bangs were heard around 10:50 p.m. APD sent in a robot, which was then able to see and identify Dodson. The SWAT team then entered and found both doctors dead.

The original call came in at about 4:30 p.m. as doctors and nurses ran from the scene. The department said some people in the area were evacuated. They did not give any information on how many people were involved in the incident. SWAT was called, and set up a perimeter.

KXAN crews on scene reported SWAT could be heard giving commands over a loud speaker or megaphone to the barricaded person, trying to communicate with them. They identified them as a doctor when they spoke to them.

“You dedicated your entire life to helping people who cannot help themselves by working with those terminally-ill newborns,” hostage negotiators told the doctor, who was their suspected gunman.

KXAN’s Jody Barr provided the below video of the communications from negotiators, which are loud enough to be heard in nearby blocks.

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