The Austin American-Statesman reports Dr. Bharat Narumanchi walked into the offices of the Children's Medical Group last Friday and inquired about an unpaid administrative job, according to witnesses and police statements. He spoke to staff members about a recent diagnosis for Stage 4 metastatic cancer and his desire to volunteer in the final three to four months doctors had given him, according to a staff member.
In Tuesday's incident, a woman who works in the medical office who managed to escape early on said she called 911 and ran to a business next door. About 45 minutes later, the American-Statesman reports, she said other staff members in the building had come out. Police say Narumanchi had forced the employees to tie themselves.
"They were released because they were not a doctor," the woman said. "This guy did not want anything to do with someone who was not a doctor."
A Texas doctor is believed to have killed another doctor, then himself, in a hostage standoff at a medical center Tuesday. Both doctors were found shot to death in a doctor's office following a SWAT entry, Austin Police said.
Police officers responded to a 911 report of a man with a gun entering a doctor's office at 1912 W. 35th Street at about 4:30 p.m., according to Austin Police. The caller said a man with a gun was holding hostages inside the building, the site of Children's Medical Group in Austin.
Police said several hostages escaped. The gunman allowed other hostages to leave, except for Dr. Katherine Dodson, whom he kept inside.
Some hostages who were able to escape told officers the gunman was Dr. Bharat Narumanchi. Police said Narumanchi had applied for a volunteer position a week earlier at the same doctor's office where the hostage situation was taking place.
Narumanchi, a pediatrician, had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, according to police.
Hostages said Narumanchi had a handgun and what appeared to be a shotgun, and two duffel bags with him inside.
There was no known relationship or previous contact between Narumanchi and Dodson, police said.
After hostage negotiations with the suspect failed, an Austin Police SWAT team entered the building and found Dodson and Narumanchi dead from apparent gunshot wounds. Homicide investigators said it appeared Narumanchi shot himself after shooting Dodson. Autopsies were being conducted to determine official causes and manners of death.
“We feel like his terminal cancer probably played a large part in whatever it was that occurred in his life and what was happening yesterday,” Austin Police Lt. Jeff Greenwalt said. Greenwalt said Narumanchi's family members told police they began looking into hospice care recently since his diagnosis was so grim. Police did not share what kind of cancer Narumanchi had.
The Austin American-Statesman reports Dr. Katherine Dodson, a 43-year-old pediatrician, operated the Children's Medical Group with several other doctors. Dodson was mother to three children, ages 5, 7 and 11.