Told She Wouldn’t Get Tenure, Star Bio Prof Goes Berserker, Shoots 6, Kills 3 At University Of Alabama



WALL STREET JOURNAL: A biology professor at the University of Alabama’s Huntsville campus was charged with murder Friday in the shooting deaths of three fellow biology professors at the campus. Authorities say Amy Bishop, an instructor and researcher at the University of Alabama’s Huntsville campus, opened fire during an afternoon faculty meeting, killing the three and injuring three other school employees. Ms. Bishop has been charged with one count of capital murder, which means she could face the death penalty if convicted. Ms. Bishop was taken Friday night in handcuffs from a police precinct to the county jail and could be heard saying, “It didn’t happen. There’s no way …. they are still alive.” Police said they were also interviewing a man as “a person of interest.” University spokesman Ray Garner said the three killed were Gopi K. Podila, the chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences,and two other faculty members, Maria Ragland Davis and Adriel Johnson. Two others are in critical condition, and a breakingnews.pngthird who was wounded was upgraded to fair condition. WAAF, the NBC affiliate in Huntsville, earlier reported that a female faculty member had learned during a biology tenure meeting that she wouldn’t receive tenure, and pulled out a gun and started shooting. MORE

HUNTSVILLE TIMES: Dr. Amy Bishop, the assistant biology professor detained for questioning in Friday’s mass shooting, is considered one of the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s research stars. A smiling Bishop posed for the winter 2009 cover of a local technology magazine, “The Huntsville R&D Report.” The 40-year-old, Harvard-educated geneticist and her husband, Jim Anderson, are credited with inventing a mobile cell incubation system touted as a replacement for the old-fashioned petri dish. UAH President David Williams predicted in November 2008 that the couple’s InQ device would “change the way biological and medical research is conducted.” The Huntsville Angel Network also thought highly of the idea, giving Prodigy Biosystems $1.25 million in startup funding. […] A member of UAH’s Faculty Senate, Bishop has also been an outspoken critic of a new university policy forcing all freshmen and sophomores to live on campus beginning this fall. She was among the leaders of an unsuccessful effort to formally censure Williams, the university president, over the residency requirement, his hiring decisions and other issues. Jody Smith, who took cell biology under Bishop, said she was “fairly vocal” in expressing her displeasure with UAH administrators. Bishop felt they “weren’t doing things she wanted for the students, offering the classes they deserved,” Smith said Friday. “Of course, a lot of professors would say that.” MORE

UPDATE: An Alabama university professor accused of fatally shooting three colleagues at a faculty meeting this week shot her younger brother dead at their home in the Boston suburbs more than 20 years ago, but records of it are missing, police said Saturday. Amy Bishop shot her teenage brother in the chest in 1986, Braintree police Chief Paul Frazier said at a news conference. She fired at least three shots, hitting her brother once and hitting her bedroom wall, before police took her into custody at gunpoint, he said. Before Bishop could be booked, however, the police chief back then called officers and told them to release her to her mother, Frazier said. The shooting of the brother, Seth Bishop, an 18-year-old accomplished violinist, was logged as an accident, but detailed records of the shooting have disappeared, he said. “The report’s gone, removed from the files,” he said. MORE

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