Austin Texas hostage stand-off at Children’s Medical Group ends with two dead, including doctor hostage taker, Bharat Narumanchi and female pediatrician hostage, Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson after 6 hours. No known motive.
Tragedy. A male California pediatrician, and female Austin based pediatrician were killed in a six hour long hostage standoff at a medical center in downtown Austin, Texas on Tuesday night, cops said.
Identified as the male doctor hostage taker was Bharat Narumanchi, 43, with the man’s victim, identified as 43 year old pediatrician and mother of three, Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson.
Police responded to the Children’s Medical Group where Dr. Dodson worked, after receiving a call around 4:30 p.m. about a person with a pistol and shotgun entering the facility and taking up to five people hostage, according to FOX7Austin.
A SWAT team arrived at the facility while the Austin Police Department negotiated with the suspect during a standoff. In the initial hours, four hostages were released or either escaped with Bharat Narumanchi and Dr Dodson the only two individuals who remained in the building.
As the hours wore on, a hostage negotiator repeatedly pleaded with the suspect not to harm anyone, telling him that he was a good person who had devoted his life to helping people.
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‘.. I want to help you work through this. You have saved a lot of lives.’
‘I cannot guarantee your safety unless you comply. I am letting you know, doctor, there is a way to resolve this. I need your help to fix the situation. That starts with you answering the phone,’ the negotiator said, according to KVUE.
Adding at another point, ‘ … I want to help you work through this. You have saved a lot of lives.’
Police said through a bullhorn that the doctor inside is ‘in pain’ and needs medication, KXAN reported.
In an update shared at 9.30pm local time, authorities said they had not been able to make contact with the suspect for two hours.
About two hours later, police released a statement confirming a SWAT team had entered the building to find two people dead. Police said Narumanchi shot dead the pediatrician before killing himself.
Leading into Tuesday’s tragedy, Narumanchi’s family had been making plans for the California doctor to have hospice care for cancer according to the dailymail.
Of note, a week ago, Narumanchi went to Dodson’s office in Austin and applied for a volunteer position but was turned down for the role. It is not known why and it’s unclear if it was Dodson who turned him down.
A rising star gunned down
‘We feel like his terminal cancer probably played a large part in whatever occurred in his life and what was happening yesterday.
‘But we don’t know why he targeted this particular business,’ an Austin Police spokesman said on Wednesday.
Dr. Dodson grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and attended Washington and Lee University in Virginia, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1999, according to her LinkedIn page.
She earned her medical degree from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans in 2003 and did her residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dodson relocated to Austin in 2007, where she served as a pediatrician at Seton Healthcare Family until joining Children’s Medical Group as a partner in 2017.
For three consecutive years she was named a “Rising Star” by the Texas Super Doctors, from 2017 through 2019, KXAN-TV reported.
Dodson had two daughters and a son, the outlet said. Funeral arrangements have not been announced as a community takes stock of what led to a California doctor gunning down a peer.