2 dead in hostage situation at Texas medical office

Two physicians were found dead at an Austin, Texas-based pediatric medical office after a hostage standoff, according to the Austin Police Department and local news reports.

Local TV station KXAN confirmed Jan. 26 that both of the individuals who died are physicians. One was a victim; the other was the suspect. Both died from gunshot wounds. 

On Jan. 27, police identified the victim as Katherine Lindley Dodson, MD, a pediatrician who worked at Children's Medical Group and the suspect as Bharat Narumanchi, MD, a pediatrician who did not work at the facility. 

Austin police Lt. Jeff Greenwalt said at a briefing that Dr. Narumanchi had recently been turned down for a volunteer position at Children's Medical Group and had a terminal cancer diagnosis. 

"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," Mr. Greenwalt said. 

There was no known connection between Dr. Narumanchi and Dr. Dodson, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Dr. Dodson was not at the medical center when Dr. Narumanchi applied for the volunteer job, according to the report. 

Police officers initially responded to a disturbance call around 4:30 p.m. at a commercial building in Austin Jan. 26. The office building was later identified as Children's Medical Group, according to KXAN

SWAT team members were seen and heard negotiating on the scene with Dr. Narumanchi who had a gun, according to several local news reports.

A negotiator speaking into a loudspeaker was overheard saying: "I want to help you work through this. You have saved a lot of lives," according to KVUE

In total, Dr. Narumanchi held five adult employees hostages for hours. Four were either let go or found a way to escape, police said. Additionally, no children were there at the time, police said. 

After hours of failed negotiations, police said they were sending in a robot. 

KXAN reported that there were what sounded like loud explosions and gunshots at the building after police said they would send in the robot.

The robot found one person dead. Then around 10:45 p.m. the SWAT team entered the building and found a second person dead, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Editor's note: This article was updated Jan. 27 at 1:20 p.m. CT  and Jan. 28 at 10:09 a.m. CT as more information became available.

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