A female pediatrician was shot and killed on Tuesday night by a terminally ill doctor who had been turned down for a volunteer position at the practice a week ago.
Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson, 43, was shot and killed by Bharat Narumanchi on Tuesday at Children’s Medical Group in Austin, Texas.
He showed up at the practice with a pistol, a shotgun and two duffel bags at 4.30pm and took the mother-of-three hostage along with four other employees.
The four others either escaped or were let go by Narumanchi but he kept Dodson behind.
After a six hour stand-off during which police negotiators pleaded with him not to kill her or harm himself, Narumanchi shot Dodson dead then killed himself.
It’s unclear where he is from but police say his family had been making plans for him to have hospice care. Police have not revealed what kind of cancer Narumanchi had been diagnosed with.
A week ago, he 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.
Katherine Lindley Dodson, 43, was shot and killed on Tuesday night by Bharat Narumanchi, another pediatrician who had terminal cancer. He killed himself afterwards
The incident took place at Children’s Medical Group in downtown Austin (above on Wednesday with floral tributes to the pediatrician)
A police crime scene marker is taped to the door at Children’s Medical Group on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2021 in Austin, TX. Monday evening Austin Police responded to a hostage situation. After hours of negotiation police found two bodies inside the location after the hostage taker took his own life and that of the hostage. Sergio Flores/Daily Mail
Flowers lay next to writing at the doorstep of Children’s Medical Group on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2021 in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday
‘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.
On Tuesday at around 4.30pm, he returned to the office with several guns and took Dodson and four other members of staff hostage.
Dodson was described by friends as a talented doctor and loving mother-of-three
The other four either escaped or released but she was held back for six hours before being killed.
Hostage negotiators pleaded with Narumanchi not to kill her or harm himself.
As they tried to talk him out of it, Dodson’s terrified colleagues gathered in the street for updates.
A hostage negotiator pleaded with Narumanchi to answer his phone and communicate with them.
‘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.
At around 10pm, police sent in a SWAT robot which detected the two bodies.
Police were seen entering a building as they respond to hostage situation at doctor’s office in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday night
A man and a woman embrace as Austin police officers and members of SWAT work the scene late Tuesday
Witnesses described seeing the other employees flee from the building after Narumanchi arrived with his weapons.
‘A whole group of people from next door had gotten free. I guess they escaped out the back door is what they said,’ one woman said.
Friends and former patients of Dodson are now paying tribute to her.
Her husband Drew told The Austin American Statesman that the family had received an outpouring of support.
‘You saw her at your worst when your kid was sick, and she just always had a smile on her face.
‘She made you feel like you were the only parent there, even though there was a line of kids waiting,’ parent Karen Vladeck said.
Toby Atkins, who took his four-month-old to see Dodson, said: ‘For a set of first-time parents, she was an absolute blessing.
‘We went in with a list of concerns as first-time partners — “not sure how all this works!” — and she was almost humorous as she attacked our list.
‘We had masks on, but you could tell she was smiling underneath.’
Glenna Bruunn recently took her children for COVID testing. Dodson, she said, put the kids at ease.
‘She was a mom and she just knew how to do things expertly. She just had a way with children,’ she said.