Last Friday afternoon, Amy Bishop, assistant professor of biological science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, opened fire at a departmental meeting, killing three of her colleagues and injuring three others.
Bishop, 44, has been charged with one count of capital murder. Confirmed dead are Gopi Podila, professor of biological science and department chair; Maria Davis, associate professor of biological science; and Adriel Johnson, associate professor of biological science. As of Monday, two of the injured – Joseph Leahy, associate professor of biological science and Stephanie Monticciolo, staff assistant – were in critical condition. Luis Cruz-Vera, assistant professor of biological science, has been discharged from the hospital.
The University has cancelled all classes for the week and has held a private prayer service.
Many media outlets have speculated that the shooting was motivated by Bishop’s tenure denial last year.
Friday’s shooting has also raised questions about hiring procedures, as Bishop had previously been linked with firearm incidents. In 1986, Bishop fatally shot her 18-year-old brother with a shotgun in their Braintree, Mass. home. Authorities deemed the shooting accidental. In 1993, Bishop and her husband, James Anderson, were questioned after two pipe bombs were sent to the Newton, Mass., house of Paul Rosenberg of the Children’s Hospital Boston, the pediatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. Bishop was then Rosenberg’s colleague and a postdoctoral fellow at the hospital.