UAH faculty member charged with capital murder


HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The professor accused of shooting three faculty members at University of Alabama Huntsville has been charged with capital murder.

Police said Dr. Amy Bishop shot and killed three co-workers Friday afternoon.

Authorities said Bishop, during a Biology faculty meeting, learned she would not receive tenure. She then pulled out a gun and started shooting.

She was captured only minutes after the gunfire, sparing further bloodshed.  Police also took the shooter's husband in custody. He has not been formally charged with anything.

Police said a 9mm gun was found in a restroom in the Shelby Center, a math and science classroom building where the shootings occurred.

Bishop was an assistant professor of biology at UA Huntsville.

She graduated from Harvard and we understand that she was doing genetic research concerning ALS.

University spokesman Ray Garner said the three killed were Dr. G. K. Podila, the chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences, and two associates, Dr. Maria Ragland Davis and Dr. Adriel Johnson.

He also said Joseph Leahy is in critical condition at Huntsville Hospital. Stephanie Monticello and Luis Rogelio Cruz-Vera are in stable condition.

At a news conference Saturday, authorities declined to comment on a possible motive.

The FBI, ABI and U.S. Marshals are assisting in the investigation.

"Everybody's thoughts and prayers are with the families. The board will stay informed on what has happened and will do what it can to support the University," said University of Alabama Board of Trustees President Finis St. John IV.

"I am deeply saddened to hear of this horrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Alabama Huntsville, and especially with the families of the victims," said Senator Richard Shelby.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," said Congressman Parker Griffith. "I am in contact with local authorities and am awaiting further details."

"This is a tragedy of immeasurable proportions and a terrible a blow to our community. Now is a time for thoughtful prayer for those affected. This is a devastating event for our community – and we all feel the shock from this tragedy," Griffith continued.

Governor Bob Riley offered the state's assistance.

"This is a horrible tragedy and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.  I want to commend the Huntsville police, the Sheriff's office and State Troopers for their response.  If there is any assistance state agencies can provide to local authorities, it will be provided," Riley said.

UAH will be closed February 15-19. All athletic events will be canceled.

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