Cops: Doc Who Killed Austin Pediatrician Didn't Know Her

Texas authorities look for clues in apparent murder-suicide that left pediatrician Lindley Dodson dead
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2021 10:20 PM CST
Updated Jan 28, 2021 6:51 AM CST

(Newser) – Details continue to emerge out of Texas after what the Austin Police Department deems a murder-suicide involving two doctors who apparently didn't know each other. Per witnesses and police statements, the Austin American-Statesman reports that Dr. Bharat Narumanchi, 43, showed up at Children's Medical Group on Friday asking if any volunteer work was available; a staff member said he revealed he had terminal cancer and wanted to spend his last few weeks helping out. He returned Tuesday afternoon with a pair of duffel bags and two guns, holding five employees hostage. As SWAT team members tried to negotiate for six-plus hours, four of the hostages escaped or were released, leaving Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson, also 43, inside with Narumanchi. When cops finally sent in a camera-fitted robot around 10:45pm, they spotted the bodies of the two pediatricians inside, both shot.

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It's still not clear what led to the shooting—authorities are looking into whether Narumanchi's terminal diagnosis or being turned down by the center for volunteer work may have triggered him, per KXAN—or why he targeted Dodson, a mom of three. But the American-Statesman notes there were signs of an erratic, sometimes violent past: He'd moved often around the country, and he also had a domestic abuse case brought against him in Hawaii nearly a decade ago, which was eventually dismissed. He'd also at one point been embroiled in a bitter child custody battle with his ex. Police are talking to his family members to glean more insight into what happened, while the Travis County medical examiner will be trying to determine a cause of death. "We are beyond devastated at the tragic, sudden, and senseless loss of our beloved Lindley," Dodson's family said in a statement, per KVUE. "We are all better because of her." (Read more hostage stories.)

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