The female pediatrician killed by a male doctor at a Texas children’s hospital on Tuesday night has been identified as 43-year-old mother Katherine Lindley Dodson.
Dodson was shot and killed on Tuesday night at the Children’s Medical Group in Austin.
The suspect has been identified as Bharat Narumanchi. He is also dead. He did not work at the hospital and it’s unclear how he knew Dodson.
He had arrived at the hospital at 4.30pm on Tuesday with a gun and took Dodson hostage along with several others. His motive remains unclear.
For hours, hostage negotiators pleaded with him over a bullhorn not to harm her or himself. They gave him compliments and said he was a doctor too who had devoted his life to helping children.
After some six hours, police sent a SWAT robot into the room where they were. It found the pair dead.
Friends have since paid tribute to Dodson as a loving wife and mother-of-three.
Katherine Lindley Dodson, 43, was shot and killed on Tuesday night
Police were seen entering a building as they respond to hostage situation at doctor’s office in Austin, Texas, where, authorities said two people were found dead
A man and a woman embrace as Austin police officers and members of SWAT work the scene late Tuesday
The incident took place at Children’s Medical Group in downtown Austin. The suspect is believed to be a doctor based on police officers’ negotiations heard at the scene however, witnesses reportedly said the doctor was not employed at the facility
‘They were pretty traumatized.
‘A couple of them needed masks, so I ran out and grabbed some of the plain masks for them. They were all scared,’ Shelley Todd told KAXN.
At one point in the negotiations, police said he was hurt and needed medication.
It’s unclear how many hostages were involved and whether they were patients or medical staff.
Negotiators were heard begging the suspect: ‘You don’t deserve to go through this, for all you have done for others, that is why I want to help you work through this. You have saved a lot of lives…
‘I am letting you know, doctor, there is a way to resolve this. I need your help to fix the situation.’
The negotiator also told him that his sister was worried about him.
Austin police eventually sent in a robot, which located a victim before a SWAT team decided to go inside.
The SWAT team found two people dead inside, one who ‘was originally inside the building and one that was not,’ police said.
They did not confirm whether the suspected gunman was one of the deceased.
Officers had been called to the scene around 4.30pm on Tuesday local time after receiving a call of a ‘disturbance at a building,’ according to KVUE.
Initial reports had said that the hostage taker had entered the medical center and taken a number of people captive, but that they were able to escape.
A witness who works at the neighboring dental practice told the local broadcaster how she and her colleagues had locked the windows and doors.
‘A whole group of people from next door had gotten free. I guess they escaped out the back door is what they said,’ the woman said.
She said that they unlocked the doors so that the staff from the pediatric center could take refuge.
‘And I just opened the door and I was like, “Come here, come here, come here.”
‘So, they came in and they were panicked, obviously, crying like, so upset. And so the three front desk girls had a gun like, waved in their face and they were told to lock the doors,’ the witness said.
The situation then devolved into a standoff between police officers and a hostage taker lasting until 11pm, during which time authorities repeatedly pleaded for the suspect to surrender.
Witnesses said the everyone inside the office had been taken hostage but three people were immediately released by the suspect.
The parent of a patient also told Fox News that their doctor was among those being held captive in the building.
‘When I arrived on scene, I saw a woman being escorted by police out of the taped area where she was met and hugged by a child. And that’s what we’ve been seeing over the past few hours: multiple people being walked out and handed off to what we can only assume are loved ones,’ reporter Amanda Ruiz tweeted.
Ruiz said another witness had claimed the suspect did not work in the office.
It’s unclear what led to the deaths or who was inside the building, though a negotiator speaking into a loudspeaker said, ‘ … I want to help you work through this. You have saved a lot of lives.’
‘I cannot guarantee your safety unless you comply. 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,’ the negotiator said, KVUE-TV reporter Tony Plohetski tweeted.
Authorities were heard telling the suspect: ‘Everything that is happening tonight doesn’t take anything away from everything that you have accomplished as a doctor.’
In an update shared at 9.30pm local time, authorities said they had not been able to make contact with the suspect for two hours.
About two hours later, police released a statement confirming a SWAT team had entered the building to find two people dead.
‘Two subjects have been located and were pronounced deceased. The APD homicide unit is on scene and investigating,’ police said in a statement on Twitter.