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Ala. professor went to range before shootings

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Feb 16, 2010.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Feb 16, 2010
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    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The husband of an Alabama professor accused of fatally shooting three colleagues said Monday that the couple went to a shooting range recently, but that he didn’t know where she got the gun she used for practice that day.

    James Anderson told The Associated Press that his wife, Amy Bishop, didn’t do anything unusual in the days before Friday’s shooting. Bishop, a Harvard-educated neurobiologist, is accused of pulling a gun at a faculty meeting and shooting six people, three fatally. Two of the survivors remained in critical condition Monday.
    Anderson said he knew his wife had a gun, but didn’t know when or how she got it.

    “I really don’t know how she got it, or where she got it from,” he said in an interview at his home.

    Police have previously said Bishop had no permit for the gun they believe she used in the shooting, and investigators said they didn’t know where she got it. It’s not clear if that was the same gun that her husband knew about.

    Bishop’s husband said nothing unusual happened on their trip to the shooting range, and that she didn’t reveal why she took an interest in target practice. Nothing in her behavior before the shooting foreshadowed the violence last week, either, he said.

    “She was just a normal professor,” he said.
    Before the gunfire broke out Friday, the meeting was tranquil enough that ecology professor Robert O. Lawton was working on a manuscript about trees instead of paying full attention to the discussion.

    “It was an ordinary faculty meeting. Then it became unordinary,” Lawton said Monday, declining to elaborate on what he saw.
    Investigators haven’t commented on a possible motive, but Bishop was vocal among colleagues about her displeasure over being denied tenure by the university, forcing her to look for work elsewhere after this semester.

    Bishop shot, killed brother in '86
    On Monday, some victims’ relatives were questioning how Bishop was hired at the university in 2003 after she was involved years ago in separate criminal probes. University of Alabama in Huntsville officials were meeting privately to review the files concerning her hiring.

    In 1986, Bishop shot and killed her 18-year-old brother with a shotgun at their Braintree, Mass., home. She told police at the time that she had been trying to learn how to use the gun, which her father had bought for protection, when it accidentally discharged.

    Authorities released her and said the episode was a tragic accident. She was never charged, though current Braintree police Chief Paul Frazier questions how the investigation was handled. Frazier said she also fired once into a wall before hitting her brother, then fired a third time into the ceiling.
    Her husband said Monday he had known about her brother being shot, but said “it was an accident. That’s all I knew about it.”