UAH shooting survivor dies of heart attack

Published: Oct. 16, 2017 at 3:17 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2017 at 6:17 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Dr. Joe Leahy, a survivor of the University of Alabama in Huntsville shootings in 2010, died unexpectedly of a heart attack at his home Sunday.

Amy Bishop Anderson shot Leahy and five others during a biology department meeting on February 12, 2010. Three of the victims died in 2010.

Leahy spent several weeks at Huntsville hospital, before transferring to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. In April 2010, Leahy was released from the Shepherd Center.

A year later, Leahy returned to the classroom at UAH. The shooting left him blind in one eye, but he used technology and perseverance to continue teaching.

  • UAH biology chair Debra Moriarity remembers Leahy [WATCH]
  • Leahy's colleague, Joe Ny, reflects on his legacy [WATCH]

Bishop Anderson pleaded guilty to attempted murder and capital murder. Alabama law required a trial precede the plea. Leahy attended the proceedings. He was not called to testify because he did not witness the shooting.

In the weeks leading up to that trial, Leahy called attention to gun violence in our community and nation saying, "We've got to decide what kind of country do we want to have. Do we want to have the kind of country where there's gun violence is going on, on a weekly basis or do we want to put a stop to this and say enough is enough?"

Bishop Anderson is serving life in prison.

UAH released the following statement Leahy's passing:

"It is with much sadness that we report the passing of Joseph Leahy, an admired member of UAH’s Biological Sciences Department. His presence will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ginny and his family.

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