AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Police Department confirmed that two doctors are dead following a reported hostage situation at a pediatrician's office that lasted about six hours on Tuesday. The APD said it was a murder-suicide.
The APD said the SWAT situation happened at 1912 W. 35th St. near MoPac Expressway and 35th Street, which is the same location as Children's Medical Group, a pediatric office.
Here's what we know about the doctors in the deadly Austin hostage situation
KVUE has learned the victim in this incident was Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson, a 43-year-old former provider at Dell Children's.
According to her biography on Dell Children's website, Dr. Dodson was a pediatric doctor affiliated with Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas. Dodson's medical practice was based out of Children's Medical Group, the site of the hostage incident.
She completed her undergraduate education at Washington and Lee University, went to medical school at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, and participated in a residency program at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.
Dell Medical School at the University of Texas on Wednesday also released a statement following Dodson's death:
"Today, we received the sad news that our colleague and friend, K. Lindley Dodson, M.D., was killed in a tragic incident. Lindley was a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics, a consummate advocate for children, a beloved pediatrician and a dear friend to many. We send our condolences to her loved ones and join our colleagues in the local health care community – along with countless families across Austin – in sadness and remembrance. We are committed to helping our colleagues and learners cope with this loss by providing counseling services and related support. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out. Locally, you can get support from @IntegralCareATX 24/7: 512-472-4357. Elsewhere, call the @afspnational hotline at 800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741."
The university said she grew up in Baton Rouge, Lousiana, and spent time as an urgent care physician at Children's Hospital Boston after her residency, also serving as a Harvard Medical School instructor. She spent her first 10 years in Austin as an attending physician at Dell Children's Medical Center, where she was honored as Pediatric Faculty Member of the year.
Since Tuesday's events, people who knew Dodson had begun leaving flowers outside of the office of her practice.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin), who said Dr. Dodson cared for his two youngest grandchildren, called her one our "most skilled and compassionate" pediatricians. He said she leaves behind a husband and three kids.
Via a spokesperson on Wednesday afternoon, the Dodson family released the following statement:
“We are beyond devastated at the tragic, sudden and senseless loss of our beloved Lindley. As a dedicated mom, wife, daughter, friend and pediatrician, she radiated light, love and joy in everything she did and with everyone she touched. She developed immediate rapport with her patients and 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. Our only comfort is knowing she is now with Jesus and all the heavenly saints who are undoubtedly already looking forward to her first costume party. We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and concern but due to the ongoing nature of this investigation and our request for privacy during this awful time, we will have no further comment.”
The suspect's family also released a statement:
"We, the parents of Dr. Bharat Kumar Narumanchi, wish to extend our most sincere condolences and most fervent prayers to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Lindley Dodson. We share your grief for a life so senselessly cut short. We don’t understand our son’s motives or actions but feel this time is best spent remembering Dr. Dodson and her contributions to this world. We are cooperating with the investigators as they seek to make sense of this tragedy. The consequences of this action will live with us forever and we can only hope that faith, spiritual healing and God’s light will guide us through the darkness of this moment. Prof and Mrs. Narumanchi."
Austin ISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde released a letter to families confirming she was a long-time parent at Casis Elementary school.
"We know that many of our students and families will have many emotions and questions and need to process what has happened," said Elizalde. "To encourage healthy processing, staff from AISD Counseling and the Office of School Leadership were on campus to support Casis students, parents, and staff as needed on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Extra support from AISD counselors will also be available throughout the district, in addition to the continued presence of our campus counselors on staff. Please contact your campus for more information."
Elizalde also supplied a list of resources to help families guide conversations with their children.
"Austin ISD is a family, and we share happy and sad times together," she said. "Thank you for supporting our children and each other during this difficult time."
A GoFundMe campaign, which has been verified by the company, has also been set up to benefit Children's Medical Group.
KVUE has also learned that the suspect in this case is Dr. Bharat Narumanchi, also 43 years old. Narumanchi, along with Dodson, died in the reported hostage situation. Police said that Narumanchi killed Dodson before killing himself.
The Austin PD said at a briefing the following day that they do not know why Narumanchi took her hostage. However, police have learned that the suspect had terminal cancer and had inquired about a volunteer position at Dodson's office prior to the hostage situation. Police do not know of any other connection between Narumanchi and Dodson other than that volunteer inquiry.
According to St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare, Narumanchi was a pediatrician with office locations in California. He completed coursework with St. George's University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Tripler Army Medical Center.
What we know about the Austin hostage situation
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On Jan. 26, someone called 911 to report that a man had walked into the doctor's office with a gun and was holding hostages inside. Five employees, including Dr. Dodson, were held hostage. Several were able to escape and others were later allowed to leave, leaving Dodson as the sole hostage.
Hostages who had escaped reported to officers that Narumanchi was armed with a pistol and what appeared to be a shotgun and he had two duffel bags.
Hostage negotiators made several attempts to make contact with Narumanchi, but he was not responsive. Later, the two doctors were found with gunshot wounds.
The case is still under investigation, and if you have more information or video of the incident, you are asked to call APD Homicide at 512-974-TIPS, email firstname.lastname@example.org, utilize the Crime Stoppers tip line at 512-472-8477 or the Crime Stoppers app. You may remain anonymous.
PHOTOS: Deadly hostage situation at Austin doctor's office
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