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Cops identify victim, suspect in Austin hospital murder-suicide

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Doctors Office Two Dead 02

A doctor had terminal cancer when he burst into an Austin, Texas, hospital late Tuesday, killing another physician and himself, police said at a briefing Wednesday.

Police identified the suspect as Dr. Bharat Narumanchi, 43, who had a practice in California and once interned at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Manhattan, and the victim as Dr. Katherine Linley Dodson, also 43.

Police responded to Children’s Medical Group in downtown Austin around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Four hostages had been released when police arrived at the scene, the department said.

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

Greenwalt said investigators do not know why he targeted the hospital, but said he had applied for a volunteer position there within the past two weeks but was turned down.

Narumanchi also suffered from terminal cancer and “was only given weeks to live.”

Greenwalt said he had several guns on him.

Narumanchi, who attended medical school at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada until 2008, interned at the now-defunct St. Vincent’s in 2010, according to online profiles.

He completed his residency at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2013, the profile shows. 

Narumanchi went on to establish a practice in California 

His more recent ties to Texas are unclear, but Greenwalt said there is no known link to Dodson — except that they were believed to have met when Narumanchi applied for the volunteer position.

Dodson established a successful pediatric practice in Austin in recent years, the Austin-American Statesman reported. 

Her death left the community shocked.

“You saw her at your worst when your kid was sick, and she just always had a smile on her face,” Karen Vladeck, whose children were Dodson’s patients, told the Statesman. “She made you feel like you were the only parent there, even though there was a line of kids waiting.”

Police said the investigation is ongoing, and are asking for anyone who knew Dodson or Narumanchi to contact police. 

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