UA-Huntsville recovering a year after shootings

The scene outside the Shelby Center on Feb. 12, 2010
The scene outside the Shelby Center on Feb. 12, 2010

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Saturday marks the one year anniversary of the UA-Huntsville shooting that killed three professors.

On Friday, February 12, 2010, shots were fired just before 4:00 p.m. inside the Shelby Center during a biology department meeting.

Dr. Amy Bishop-Anderson, who was an assistant biology professor, is accused of shooting and killing department chair Dr. G. K. Podila, Dr. Maria Ragland-Davis and Dr. Adriel Johnson. Those injured include Dr. Luis Cruz Vera, Dr. Joseph Leahy, and Stephanie Monticciolo.

It has been a trying year for the survivors—physically and emotionally.

Dr. Luis Cruz Vera was able to return to campus in the weeks following the shooting. He's still teaching there today.

Dr. Joseph Leahy spent weeks in intensive care at Huntsville Hospital and months at a rehab facility in Atlanta. He was welcomed home in April 2010. Dr. Leahy has started meeting again with students and does spend some time on campus.

Stephanie Monticciolo spent more than a month in the hospital. She has since retired from her position at UA-Huntsville.

The community continues to rally around the survivors and the families of those lost. A memorial service to remember those killed or injured that day will be held at Chan Auditorium at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Dr. Amy Bishop-Anderson remains in the Huntsville-Madison County Jail, and there's been very little movement in her criminal case.

Bishop-Anderson appeared in a Madison County courtroom in March 2010. The judge found enough evidence for the case to go before a grand jury, but court records indicate that hasn't happened yet.

However, four civil lawsuits have recently been filed in this case.

Dr. Joseph Leahy and Stephanie Monticciolo are suing Bishop-Anderson and her husband Jim Anderson.

The families of Adriel Johnson and Maria Ragland Davis have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the couple and UA-Huntsville Provost Dr. Vistasp Karbhari. The lawsuit claims Jim Anderson and Dr. Karbhari should have been aware that Bishop-Anderson was unstable.

Debra Moriarity, one of the survivors, has filed a lawsuit against Bishop-Anderson and her husband too. Moriarity said in an interview that Bishop-Anderson aimed the gun at her too, but it did not fire. In the lawsuit, Moriarity is asking for damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering and future medical treatment.

Also cited in the civil lawsuits is the shooting death of Bishop-Anderson's brother's in the 1980's in Massachusetts. She has now been indicted on murder charges in that case. However, Massachusetts will not be able to move forward with that case until the case in Madison County is resolved.

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