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3 dead, 1 injured, univ. of alabama shooting

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by bci21984, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. bci21984

    bci21984

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    http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/12/alabama.university.shooting/index.html

    (CNN) -- Three people were killed and one was wounded Friday after a shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said Ray Garner, a spokesman for the university.
    A female shooter was in custody, he said.
    The incident occurred about 4:15 p.m. in Shelby Hall, which police were still searching, said Trent Willis, a spokesman for the mayor. "We do have some witnesses," he said
     
  2. Reyn

    Reyn Times Up

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    Lwt210 is an officer there in Huntsville.
     

  3. lwt210

    lwt210

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    Yeah, I am and that is actually in my zone. I got off today at 1330 hours.

    I know less than most of you do at this point. I'll know more tomorrow. From what they are saying on the news, the shooter is a female staff member upset about not receiving tenure and opened fire during a biology staff meeting.

    UAH has their own sworn force. Our SWAT team is sweeping the place now.

    Three dead, one critical. This on the heels of a middle school killing that happened just a few days ago in our neighbor city of Madison, Alabama.

    Prayers to the victims and for swift, severe justice for the shooter.
     
  4. ede

    ede Bama's Friend

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    girl i went to HS with is a prof/instructor there.
     
  5. SPDSNYPR

    SPDSNYPR Zippy's Friend.

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    Seems very unusual that the shooter is a female. Just goes to show anyone can be the bad guy.

    Hope the injured person pulls through. There's no amount of punishment that equals what this lady has done.
     
  6. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    Prayers for y'all as your people deal with the situation as well.
     
  7. ronduke

    ronduke

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    A Previous Shooting Death at the Hand of Alabama Suspect
    By SHAILA DEWAN and LIZ ROBBINS
    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The neurobiologist accused of killing three colleagues at the University of Alabama in Huntsville on Friday fatally shot her brother in 1986 in suburban Boston, the authorities in Massachusetts confirmed Saturday.

    Early Saturday, the police in Huntsville charged the neurobiologist, Amy Bishop, 45, with capital murder in the shootings Friday during a faculty meeting that also left three people wounded. On Saturday afternoon, the police in Braintree, Mass., announced that Ms. Bishop had fatally wounded her brother in their home 24 years ago, which The Boston Globe first reported on its Web site on Saturday. Ms. Bishop was not charged and the case records were no longer available, said Paul Frazier, the Braintree police chief.

    “The release of Ms. Bishop did not sit well with the police officers,” Chief Frazier said in a statement, “and I can assure you that this would not happen in this day and age.”

    He said that Ms. Bishop had fatally shot her brother, Seth Bishop, in an apparent argument, contradicting the police account at the time, which said it was an accident.

    Chief Frazier said that he had spoken with Officer Ronald Solimini, who was on duty at the time of that shooting. At a news conference on Saturday, the chief said that the original account had been inaccurate. The Globe reported that while he was reluctant to use the word “cover-up,” Chief Frazier said it did not “look good” that the detailed records of the case have been missing since 1988.

    In 1986, The Globe quoted John Polio, the Braintree police chief at the time, as saying that Ms. Bishop, then about 20, had asked her mother, Judith, how to unload a 12-gauge shotgun. While Ms. Bishop was handling the weapon, it fired, hitting her brother in the abdomen, according to the Globe’s account.

    Chief Frazier said in his statement that Officer Solimini “remembers that Ms. Bishop fired a round from a pump-action shotgun into the wall of her bedroom. She had a fight with her brother and shot him, which caused his death. She fired a third round from the shotgun into the ceiling as she exited the home. She fled down the street with the shotgun in her hand. At one point she allegedly pointed the shotgun at a motor vehicle in an attempt to get the driver to stop.”

    Another officer, Timothy Murphy, seized the shotgun, and Ms. Bishop was handcuffed and transported to the police station under arrest, Chief Frazier said.

    He said that he had spoken with the person who had been the booking officer at the time, who recalled getting a phone call “he believes was from then Police Chief John Polio or possibly from a captain on Chief Polio’s behalf” to stop the booking process. Ms. Bishop was released into the custody of her mother, and the two left the police station via a rear exit, Chief Frazier said.

    But Mr. Polio, 87, reached at home on Saturday, called even the suggestion of a cover-up laughable and said that the case had been handled lawfully. He said that he remembered there being a shooting and recalled that Ms. Bishop and her brother were “horsing around.”

    “Everything was done that should have been done under the circumstances,” Mr. Polio said in a phone interview. “She was questioned, and then turned over to her mother. The determination was made that we were going to turn the inquiry over to the district attorney.”

    The district attorney at the time was William Delahunt, a Democrat, who is now a Congressman. A spokesman for Mr. Delahunt said he was traveling in Israel and could not immediately be reached.

    Twenty-four years after her brother’s death, Ms. Bishop, a grant-winning scientist and mother of four, is now charged with murder. If convicted, she would be eligible for the death penalty in Alabama.

    The shootings on the university campus opened a window into the pressure-cooker world of biotechnology start-ups, where scientists often depend on their association with academia for a leg up. Ms. Bishop was part of a start-up that had won an early round of financing in a highly competitive environment, but people who knew her said she had learned shortly before the shooting that she had been denied tenure at the university.

    On Friday, Ms. Bishop presided over her regular neuroscience class before going to an afternoon biology faculty meeting on the third floor of the Shelby Center for Science and Technology.

    There, she sat quietly for about 30 or 40 minutes, said one faculty member who had spoken to people who were in the room. Then Ms. Bishop pulled out a 9-millimeter handgun and began shooting, firing several rounds before her gun either jammed or ran out of ammunition, the police said. At least one person in the room tried to stop Ms. Bishop and prevent further bloodshed, said Sgt. Mark Roberts of the Huntsville Police Department.

    After Ms. Bishop left the room, the police said, she dumped the gun — for which she did not have a permit — in a second-floor bathroom. The people left behind barred the door, fearing she would return, the faculty member said.

    Ms. Bishop was arrested outside the building minutes later, Sergeant Roberts said at a morning news conference on Saturday.

    The 911 call came at 4:10 p.m., the authorities said. Few students were in the building, and none were involved in the shooting, said Ray Garner, a university spokesman.

    Officials said the dead were all biology professors: G. K. Podila, the department’s chairman, who is a native of India, according to a family friend who answered the phone at his house; Maria Ragland Davis; and Adriel D. Johnson Sr. Two other biology professors, Luis Rogelio Cruz-Vera and Joseph G. Leahy, as well as a professor’s assistant, Stephanie Monticciolo, were at Huntsville Hospital. Mr. Cruz-Vera was in fair condition; the others were in critical condition.

    Mr. Garner said Ms. Bishop, who arrived in the 2003-4 academic year, was first told last spring that she had been denied tenure. Generally, the university does not allow professors to stay on after six years if they have not been granted tenure, and this would have been the final semester of Ms. Bishop’s sixth year.

    The university does have an appeals process, and people who knew Ms. Bishop said she had appealed the decision.

    Ms. Bishop was quick to talk about her tenure worries, even to people she had just met. A businessman who met her at a technology open house in January, and who asked not to be named because of the close-knit nature of the science community in Huntsville, said, “She began to talk about her problems getting tenure in a very forceful and animated way, saying it was unfair.”

    “She seemed to be one of these persons who was just very open with her feelings,” he said. “A very smart, intense person who had a variety of opinions on issues.”

    Ms. Bishop may have had academic problems, but her business prospects seemed good. She and her husband, James Anderson, had invented an automated system for incubating cells that was designed as an improvement over the petri dish. The system was to be marketed by Prodigy Biosystems, which raised $1.2 million in capital financing.

    “From the way it looked to us, looking from the outside, she’s had success,” said Krishnan Chittur, a chemical engineering professor. “I’ve been here longer than she has, and she’s had more success raising money than I’ve had.”

    Mr. Chittur said Ms. Bishop was a respected scientist who nevertheless had trouble getting along with colleagues. As members of the biotechnology program, students have to pass core classes in biology, chemistry and chemical engineering. But Ms. Bishop became convinced, he said, that the chemical engineering professors were trying to keep biology students from succeeding by making the classes too difficult.

    “It was one of those things that ultimately became irrational with her, in my opinion,” he said.

    Ms. Bishop was also a critic of a new policy to require freshmen and sophomores to live on campus, and was involved in an effort to censure the university president, David B. Williams, over that and other policies, according to Richard Lieu, a Distinguished Professor of Astrophysics at the University who sits on the faculty senate.

    She was not the only vocal protestor. Last month, the censure vote failed, 20 to 18.

    “I don’t believe this is related,” Mr. Lieu said in a telephone interview.

    Andrew Ols, a senior, said he had been in a biology laboratory in the Shelby Center less than five minutes before the shooting began. Knowing now that a faculty member was charged and that no students were injured or targeted, he said, “there’s more shock than there is fear.”

    Kourtney Lattimore, a sophomore nursing student, had classes with both Mr. Leahy and Ms. Bishop this semester. Mr. Leahy, she said, was very passionate about teaching. On Wednesday, he used students as stand-ins for a live demonstration of how macrophages and T-cells interact. She said Ms. Bishop’s class, Anatomy and Physiology II, caused grumbling and complaints, in part because there was so much material to cover.

    “She might have been aware that people were frustrated with the class, but I don’t think she knew how to do it differently,” Ms. Lattimore said. She said she tuned out during Ms. Bishop’s lectures and stories, but added, “She was really passionate about her research — that’s something we all knew, that she really loved to do her research.”

    Caitlin Phillips, a junior in the nursing program, took two courses with Ms. Bishop as a sophomore. Ms. Phillips said Ms. Bishop was “very socially awkward with students” and never made eye contact during personal conversations.

    Students brought complaints about Ms. Bishop’s tests to Mr. Podila, the chairman of the biology department, as well as to a dean, “numerous times,” and included a petition, Ms. Phillips said.

    On Ms. Bishop’s faculty Web page, she listed several of her academic publications, many of which had to do with her interest in the role of nitric oxide in the central nervous system. She also said she was developing a neural computer that used living neurons taken from adult stem cells and the cells of bony fish and enriched with nitric oxide.

    Ms. Bishop and her husband, who was questioned by the police on Friday, have four children.

    David Karabinos, the chairman of BizTech, a Huntsville mentoring company that helped Ms. Bishop and her husband develop the incubation technology, described her “as a passionate person in general — about the research and her activities as a professor.”

    He said the members of the business technology group were all shocked by the events of Friday afternoon.

    “There was no hint of what happened,” Mr. Karabinos said in a telephone interview. He acknowledged that Ms. Bishop had mentioned her tenure situation, saying she had been “very nervous about it over the last several months.”


    Shaila Dewan reported from Huntsville, Ala., and Liz Robbins from New York.
     
  8. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    Wow... prayers for all involved.
     
  9. bharen

    bharen

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    So you need a permit to own a handgun in Alabama?
     
  10. 50 Cent

    50 Cent

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    Funny thing is - she evidently shot her brother back in MA 20 yrs ago. It was ruled accidental, but seems like the local Chief (and the DA - a current MA Congressman) kinda pushed that through.

    But even more interesting is that ALL files related to that incident are missing. ALL of them??
     
  11. txleapd

    txleapd Hook 'Em Up

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    She "accidentally" fired off a pump action shotgun 3 TIMES, and killed her brother!!! You didn't really expect those case files to still exist, did you? Wanna know something even better? Ms. CucKoo for Cocoa Puffs was also a suspect in an attempted bombing of a Harvard Medical Professor in 1993.

    BOOM!
     
  12. ronduke

    ronduke

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    Alabama Shooting Suspect Could Have Faced Weapons Charges in 1986
    By JENNIFER LEVITZ And CHRIS HERRING
    Associated Press Police blocked off area around the Shelby Center on the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
    .
    HUNTSVILLE, Ala.—State prosecutors in Massachusetts said Tuesday that a University of Alabama biology professor here who killed three colleagues could have been charged with assault in 1986 after fatally shooting her brother, as other evidence emerged of her volatile behavior.

    The office of Norfolk County District Attorney William R. Keating said there was no evidence to contradict previous findings that the shooting was accidental, but said an analysis of a "substantial body" of police reports said that "probable cause" existed 24 years ago to place Amy Bishop under arrest and charge her with assault and possession of a dangerous weapon and the unlawful possession of ammunition.

    Meanwhile a former assistant district attorney who accepted a 1987 state police report conclusion that the shooting was accidental said Tuesday that the police's report left out crucial details about Ms. Bishop's alleged bizarre behavior after the shooting.

    "Whatever happened when she left that house should have been included in that report," said John Kivlan, who was the assistant district attorney for Norfolk County when the shooting happened.


    The conclusion from Massachusetts prosecutors comes five days after Ms. Bishop, an assistant professor of biology at the university, allegedly went on a shooting spree that left three faculty members dead and three others wounded. In Alabama, Ms. Bishop has been charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder. She is being held without bond in a Madison County, Ala. jail, according to police, and was arraigned Monday, but no court date has been set.

    Ms. Bishop fatally shot her brother, 18-year-old Seth Bishop, in the chest in 1986 in her family home in Braintree, Mass. Ms. Bishop was never charged and state police ruled the shooting accidental. But since the Alabama slayings, prosecutors and police have questioned how the case was handled.

    Police reports released by Mr. Keating's office showed that just after the shooting, Ms. Bishop ran into an auto body shop, pointed a gun at employees and "said she wanted a car and a set of keys right away" before running out. Two police officers found her nearby "frightened, disoriented and confused" and had to reason with her to get her to drop the gun. They found ammunition in the gun and in her pocket. In the car on the way to the police station, Ms. Bishop said she had had an argument with her father a day earlier.

    On Tuesday, Mr. Keating's office said there would be no new charges against Ms. Bishop in Massachusetts because the statute of limitations had run out.

    Braintree's current police chief Paul Frazier has also raised questions about the way the case was handled, and said a review would be conducted.

    John Polio, who was Braintree's police chief in 1986, said Tuesday he, too, had changed his mind about an investigation into Ms. Bishop's shooting of her brother. He said the report by state police, which he had not read before, revealed numerous "discrepancies."

    "It's deficient—I'm not pointing a finger, but there are too many questions," he said.

    Meanwhile, it emerged Tuesday that in March, 2003, Ms. Bishop was charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct after hitting another patron at an International House of Pancakes restaurant in Peabody, Mass., said Capt. Dennis Bonaito, of the Peabody police department, confirming a Boston Globe report.

    The police report said Ms. Bishop, who was at the restaurant with her family, became irate when told by a waitress that another woman had just taken the last booster seat.

    Ms. Bishop screamed profanities at the customer, and then punched her in the head. After the manager ordered her to leave, Ms. Bishop repeatedly said "I am Dr. Amy Bishop.'' Ms. Bishop pleaded guilty to the charges, and was given six months probation, Capt. Bonaiuto said. The district attorney recommended she attend anger management classes, but it's unclear whether she went, he said.

    In Huntsville, meantime, a survivor of the shooting spree described how Ms. Bishop pulled out a gun during a routine meeting and started shooting people at point-blank range until she had to stop to reload.

    Ms. Bishop "started with the one closest to her and went down the row shooting her targets in the head," Joseph Ng, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, wrote in an email to a colleague who confirmed the note's veracity. "Our chairman got it the worst as he was right next to her along with two others who died almost instantly."
     
  13. Reyn

    Reyn Times Up

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    No,you don't need a permit to own one.
     
  14. ronduke

    ronduke

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    Professor Is Charged in ’86 Killing of Her Brother
    By ABBY GOODNOUGH
    BOSTON — Amy Bishop, the biology professor accused of killing three colleagues at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, this year, was indicted Wednesday in the death of her brother in 1986 at their home outside Boston.

    The death was ruled accidental at the time, and the police in Braintree, Mass., released Dr. Bishop, then 21, without conducting a full investigation. But the local district attorney’s office reopened the case after Dr. Bishop was charged in February with fatally shooting three colleagues and wounding three others in Alabama.

    William R. Keating, the Norfolk district attorney, said legal proceedings against Dr. Bishop in Alabama would take precedence over the new charge here. If she is convicted and gets a heavy sentence in the Alabama case, Mr. Keating said, Dr. Bishop will probably never stand trial in Massachusetts.

    After Dr. Bishop fatally shot her 18-year-old brother, Seth, in December 1986, their mother told the police that Amy had done it accidentally while trying to unload their father’s shotgun.

    But soon after reopening the investigation into Seth Bishop’s death, the authorities here found that there had been probable cause to charge Dr. Bishop with assault with a dangerous weapon, carrying a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of ammunition.

    Representative Bill Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat who was the Norfolk district attorney at the time, said in February that State Police officers and prosecutors in his office were never made aware of police reports stating that Dr. Bishop tried to use the shotgun to steal a car at a nearby car dealership after the shooting, and that she pointed the weapon at the police.

    When Mr. Keating announced a judicial inquest into Seth Bishop’s death in late February, he said investigators had re-examined photographs taken of Dr. Bishop’s bedroom shortly after her brother’s death and enlarged them. They found a newspaper article that described someone killing a relative with a shotgun and then stealing a getaway car from a dealership, he said.

    A grand jury was convened in April to hear evidence in Seth Bishop’s death. In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Keating said he could not explain why Dr. Bishop was not charged years ago.

    “I really can’t offer any explanations or excuses because there are none,” he said. “Jobs weren’t done, responsibilities weren’t met, and justice wasn’t served back then.”
     
  15. Rohniss

    Rohniss

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    Little late, Mass., coulda saved some lives down here...