Austin Doctor Takes Five Hostages in Clinic Before Killing One Hostage and Himself


Photo By kali9

Two people were found dead inside a medical center on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Photo courtesy of kali9

By Amy Simon, Reporter

Two people were found dead inside a medical center located at 1912 West 35th Street on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Mr. Bharat Narumanchi, a 43-year-old man who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, was armed with a pistol and took in five adult hostages for over five hours. According to officials, he shot and killed Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson, before killing himself. The Austin Police Department (APD) does not believe that Dr. Dodson had any prior relationship with Dr. Narumanchi.

The medical branch in which the hostage took place was identified as a branch of the Children’s Medical Group. Its website has been deactivated since Tuesday, and calls have been left unanswered. No one knows when or if the building will be running again. Although Dr. Narumanchi did not work for the Children’s Medical Group, he had applied for a volunteer position a week prior and was reportedly rejected from the role.

Hostage negotiators attempted to make contact with Dr. Narumanchi through a loudspeaker, however, no success was made. The APD sent in a robot, which was able to identify Dr. Dodson. After several hours of silence, the Special Weapons And Tactics team entered the building to find two people dead.

“We haven’t talked to you in a couple hours, and we want to make sure you’re OK,” a SWAT member said to Dr. Narumanchi, according to KXAN

Neighbors shared what they witnessed on social media. John Thomas, who lives in a building close to the scene said that he heard law enforcement try to talk to the hostage-taker for hours. Shelley Todd, who lives less than a block away from the scene called the situation distressing. 

“I heard the booms,” Ms. Todd said to KXAN. “We were a quiet neighborhood, you know we’re dog-friendly, we’re people-friendly, and for this to go on, and we’re a medical neighborhood, too. I know people that go to that office.”

The investigation is currently underway. Jeff Greenwalt of the Austin Police Department urged people in a press conference on Wednesday to call APD Homicide at 512-974-TIPS, email [email protected], or call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 512-472-8477 (TIPS) if they had any insight. 

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