An Indian-origin paediatrician (PED) suffering from terminal cancer took another doctor hostage and after several hours of a stand-off with the police, killed the victim and then committed suicide, according to authorities.
On Tuesday evening, Bharat Narumanchi took several people hostage at a children’s clinic in Austin, Texas. Except the doctor, most hostages either escaped or were let go, local police said in a statement on Wednesday.
Hostage negotiators tried to contact Narumanchi, but after failed attempts a police SWAT team entered the building and found him as well as Katherine Lindley Dodson, the doctor held hostage, dead from “apparent gunshot wounds”, according to the police.
“It appeared that Narumanchi shot himself after shooting Dodson,” the police said.
According to the hostages, Narumanchi had visited the clinic a week prior to the incident seeking a volunteer position.
Mystery surrounds the incident as it did not appear that the Indian-origin man had any relation or other contacts with his victim, according to police.
“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,” Police Lt. Jeff Greenwalt was quoted as saying by TV station KXAN.
The lieutenant appealed to Narumanchi’s friends and relatives to provide any insights into his behaviour.
When the Indian-origin PED went to the clinic on Tuesday, he was armed with a pistol and what appeared to be a shotgun, according to hostages interviewed by police.
Healthgrades.com, a database of medical resources, reported that 43-year-old Narumanchi studied medicine on the island of Grenada and had worked at an army medical centre in Hawaii.
He was also on the list of doctors at two hospitals in Santa Ana, but details regarding him were removed.
According to news reports, Narumanchi had a chequered background.
KXAN revealed that his services had been terminated by a New York hospital after a year and a half and he had filed a case against the hospital.
The Austin American-Statesman newspaper reported that he had been charged with domestic abuse in Hawaii, but the case was dropped. He and his wife had divorced and were involved in a custody battle over their child, the newspaper revealed.
Dodson, 43, was the mother of three children, according to the newspaper.