Albuquerque Journal

Doctor taken hostage killed in Austin clinic

Armed attacker had been diagnosed with terminal cancer

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AUSTIN, Texas — A physician with a terminal cancer diagnosis killed a pediatrici­an and then himself after taking hostages at a doctor’s office in Austin, police said Wednesday.

A SWAT team found the bodies of Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson and Dr. Bharat Narumanchi late Tuesday after negotiator­s spent hours trying to speak to the people inside the office, police said.

Narumanchi did not work at the clinic where he held five adult employees hostage for hours, Austin police Lt. Jeff Greenwalt said. Four were either let go or escaped, and no children were there at the time, he said.

Hostages who escaped the office told officers on the scene that Narumanchi had entered Tuesday carrying a pistol, a shotgun and two duffel bags, police said. Authoritie­s have not yet said how Dodson and Narumanchi died.

Narumanchi had applied for a volunteer position at the clinic a week ago and was declined, but otherwise had no known connection to Dodson or the clinic, Greenwalt said.

Narumanchi had recently been given “weeks to live” after his cancer diagnosis and investigat­ors believe that likely played a role in his actions, Greenwalt said. He asked anyone with informatio­n to contact police, and said Narumanchi’s family was cooperatin­g fully with investigat­ors.

“The case as far as who did this is closed. We know who did it,” Greenwalt said. “And we know that there’s no longer a threat to the public. But we really, really want to answer the question of why.”

Dodson, 43, was beloved by patients and their families, several people told the Austin American-Statesman.

 ?? JAY JANNER/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN ?? Laura Atkins, left, consoles her sister, Lisa Parker, outside the Children’s Medical Group Wednesday where a pediatrici­an was killed.
JAY JANNER/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN Laura Atkins, left, consoles her sister, Lisa Parker, outside the Children’s Medical Group Wednesday where a pediatrici­an was killed.

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