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AUSTIN, Texas – A Texas pediatrician who was recently told he had weeks to live stormed into the office of fellow doctors Tuesday afternoon and fatally shot one of them before turning his gun on himself, authorities said.

Dr. Bharat Narumanchi, 43, of Austin, was identified Wednesday as the gunman who went into Children’s Medical Group and took several hostages, Austin police officials accused Narumanchi of gunning down Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson, also 43, during the six-hour standoff.

SWAT officers who entered the building Tuesday night found both Dodson and Narumanchi dead in what authorities have said is a murder-suicide. Narumanchi was armed with a handgun and a shotgun, and he carried two duffel bags.

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Lt. Jeff Greenwalt, a spokesman for the Austin Police Department, told reporters that someone from inside the pediatric office called 911 around 4:30 p.m. and reported a man inside with a gun. Five employees were in the office when Narumanchi arrived.

“He pointed his gun at my co-worker and told her to go get the doctor,” surviving hostage Victoria Ishaak, told the Austin American-Statesman. “Then he points the gun at me and tells me to go lock the front door.

No patients or other children were in the office at the time.

“When the suspect arrived, he displayed a gun and told the hostages to tie themselves up,” Greenwalt said. “Some of the hostages were able to escape, and some of them were ultimately released.”

Dodson was not one of them.

Austin pediatrician murder suicide

SWAT team members prepare to enter a pediatrician’s office Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Austin, Texas, where a gunman took hostages and killed Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson, 43. The gunman was identified as another pediatrician, Dr. Bharat Narumanchi.

SWAT leaders and hostage negotiators tried in vain to talk Narumanchi into surrendering during the standoff. Portions of their negotiation attempts could be heard by reporters and other witnesses at the scene.

They pleaded with him to release the hostages, telling him that they knew how important life was to him in his profession.

“I cannot guarantee your safety unless you comply,” the negotiator said three hours in, according to a reporter with KVUE in Austin. “I am letting you know, doctor, there is a way to resolve this. I need your help to fix the situation. That starts with you answering the phone.”

She told Narumanchi that his sister was worried about him. Repeatedly, the officer pleaded with the doctor’s sense of duty to save lives.

“I know you have helped so many children. We want that to be your legacy. Please help make that possible,” the negotiator said.

After several hours without contact with Narumanchi, the SWAT team sent a robot with a camera into the building. The camera feed showed a body lying on the floor, the Statesman reported.

The team made entry into the office and found both Dodson and Narumanchi.

As of Wednesday, the only known contact Narumanchi had previously had with Dodson or her colleagues was about a week before the shooting, when he went to Children’s Medical Group seeking a volunteer position there.

He was denied a position.

“We don’t know if that’s the reason he decided to come back or if there’s some other involvement that he may have had,” Greenwalt said. “We also know that the suspect, Dr. Narumanchi, had terminal cancer and was only given weeks to live.

“We feel like this terminal cancer probably played a large part in whatever it was that occurred in his life and what was happening yesterday.”

Narumanchi’s family, who was contacted by detectives while the standoff was ongoing, has been fully cooperative in the investigation.

“I think yesterday’s events surprised them as much as it did us,” Greenwalt said.

The doctor’s parents released a statement extending their “most sincere condolences and most fervent prayers” to Dodson’s loved ones.

“We share your grief for a life so senselessly cut short,” the statement read. “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.”

Greenwalt said the investigation is ongoing.

“The case, as far as who did this, is closed. We know who did it,” the police spokesman 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.”

According to a background probe by the Statesman, Narumanchi had practiced medicine primarily in California. He was also licensed to practice in Connecticut, Florida, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

Narumanchi had been in Austin for about six months before his death, the newspaper reported. Records show that he had family in the area.

Austin pediatrician murder suicide

Bystanders embrace as Austin police officers and SWAT team members work the scene of a hostage situation at a pediatrician’s office in Austin, Texas, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. A gunman, identified as pediatrician Dr. Bharat Narumanchi, took hostages and killed fellow doctor Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson at Children’s Medical Center, where Dodson worked.

A former colleague in Santa Ana, California, told USA Today, the paper’s parent company, that the pediatrician moved to Texas to be closer to family after his cancer diagnosis. Dr. H. Joseph Khan, an obstetrician, said he was shocked to learn of the shooting.

“I don’t think he would hurt anybody. I’d feel safe talking to him,” Khan said. “The main reason he left is he was suffering from this illness and he wanted to be close to his family.

“And he said when he got better, he was going to come back.”

Dodson’s family, friends and patients’ families were stunned by her killing. She leaves behind her husband, Drew Dodson, and their three children, ages 5, 7 and 11.

A statement from her family described Dodson, who went by Lindley, as a dedicated mom, wife, daughter, friend and doctor.

“She radiated light, love and joy in everything she did and with everyone she touched,” read the statement, according to KVUE. “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.”

The Louisiana native, who graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans in 2003, completed her pediatric residency at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville.

“Following residency, she spent time as an urgent care physician at Children’s Hospital Boston and served as a Harvard Medical School instructor,” her biography on the Children’s Medical Group website stated. “She spent her first 10 years in Austin as an attending physician at Dell Children’s Hospital.”

Dodson remained on the hospital’s medical staff after going into private practice at Children’s Medical Group in 2017. Dell Children’s released a statement saying its staff was “shocked and saddened” by the news of her death.

“Dr. Dodson was a hardworking and compassionate provider who will be greatly missed,” the statement said, according to the Statesman.

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Brandi Loomis, a colleague and friend of Dodson’s, told KVUE that it didn’t surprise her that Dodson remained in the office as the other hostages got to safety. Dodson was the kind of person to always put others before herself, Loomis said.

“I think, as a physician, you’re ready to sacrifice your life, your time and your talents for people, and that’s exactly what she did,” Loomis told the station. “She’s a true hero.”

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As word traveled that Dodson was the victim of the shooting, members of the medical community gathered outside the pediatric office and formed a prayer circle. Other colleagues, friends and parents of patients erected a makeshift memorial, stacking flowers against the office sign in her memory.

Some of the mourners wrapped ribbons around the trees outside the office. The ribbons were green, gold and purple, the colors of Mardi Gras, which was one of Louisiana native Dodson’s favorite times of year.

“She’s a big part of this community,” Suzanne Perez told a reporter as she helped wrap the trees. “Our kids go to school together. We do swim team together. They’re just a great family, very active in the community.”

Grant Powell, the father of twins who are patients at Children’s Medical Group, established a GoFundMe page for the pediatric office. As of noon Thursday, the page had exceeded its goal of $75,000.

The funds will be given to the Dodson family, who will have the final say in how the donations are used, Powell wrote.