Two Austin, Texas pediatricians are dead after a lengthy standoff with police yesterday. Police say that the suspect and the hostage were held up inside of a building located at 1912 W. 35th St. near MoPac Expressway and 35th Street, which is the same location as Children's Medical Group, a pediatric office. The suspect held the hostage against her will for six hours and when the ordeal was over, they were both dead.
A witness from a neighboring business said she and her coworkers shut the windows and made sure the door was locked at their office. Then, as she was looking out the door to try to see anything, she spotted a group of people.
"A whole group of people from next door had gotten free. I guess they escaped out the back door is what they said," she said.
She said she and her coworkers opened the door for the group to let them into their office for shelter.
"And I just opened the door and I was like, 'Come here, come here, come here.' So, they came in and they were panicked, obviously, crying like, so upset. And so the three front desk girls had a gun like, waved in their face and they were told to lock the doors,"
The female victim from this incident was identified as Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson, 43. The suspect, according to APD, was Dr. Bharat Narumanchi, 43. According to reports, Dr. Dodson was killed by Dr. Narumanchi, who then later shot himself. Police said Dr. Narumanchi had been to this office a week earlier and applied for a volunteer position. They said Dr. Narumanchi was a pediatrician who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Dr. Narumanchi was denied the volunteer position and police are looking into whether that may have prompted him to return armed. Hostages reported to officers that Narumanchi was armed with a pistol and what appeared to be a shotgun and had two duffel bags.
Officers called in the SWAT Team as well as a hostage negotiator who tried, for hours, to persuade Dr. Narumanchi to release Dr. Dodson telling him at one point "I know you have helped so many children. We want that to be your legacy. Please make that possible,” to no avail.
In the sixth hour of the standoff, around 11pm, police officers sent a robot into the building, armed with a camera for surveillance, and found two people – "one that was originally inside the building and one that was not" – both dead.
According to records Dr. Bharat Narumanchi completed his Pediatric residency training at Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. After graduation, Dr. Narumanchi worked in the State of California as a General Pediatrician. This story is still developing and we'll have more details as they become available.
This is Austin’s fourth homicide of 2021, according to APD. Detectives are asking anyone with information or video of the incident to call APD Homicide at 512-974-TIPS.