A Texas pediatrician is accused of fatally shooting another pediatrician before turning the gun on himself during a standoff at a doctor's office.
On Tuesday, Austin authorities received a 911 call reporting shots fired at Children's Medical Group, a pediatrician's office. The caller reported that a man had entered the office with a gun and was holding hostages inside, according to an Austin Police Department news release.
Upon arrival at the scene, police learned there were several hostages being held inside the business by the man, later identified as Dr. Bharat Narumanchi, and that others had already successfully escaped.
Eventually, other hostages were allowed to leave, except for Dr. Katherine Dodson.
Investigators learned that Narumanchi, a pediatrician, had been to the office a week earlier and applied for a volunteer position. Narumanchi had also recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
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Hostages reported to officers that Narumanchi was armed with a pistol, plus what appeared to be a shotgun, and had two duffel bags, the news release states. A negotiator arrived on the scene and attempted to deescalate the situation for hours.
"I know you have helped so many children. We want that to be your legacy. Please make that possible," the negotiator told Narumanchi, KHOU reports.
However, after a six hour stand-off, Austin Police SWAT officers decided to make entry into the building. Once inside, they found both Dodson and Narumanchi dead of apparent gunshot wounds.
Police believe Narumanchi shot himself after fatally shooting Dodson. He and Dodson do not appear to have any prior relations outside of Narumanchi's visit to the office a week earlier, according to police.
In a statement to the Austin American-Statesman, Dodson's family said the 43-year-old had "the unique ability to make you feel like the only person in the room…She brightened our lives and lifted us up with her laughter, which was like magic. We are all better because of her."
The investigation remains ongoing. The Travis County Medical Examiner will be conducting an autopsy to determine the official cause and manner of death.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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