Dr. Amy Bishop’s Rampage…Shoots 6, Kills 3 in University of Alabama Campus Shooting…VIDEO

6 Shot, 3 Killed in Alabama Campus Shooting

Published: February 12, 2010

Three faculty members at the University of Alabama at Huntsville were shot to death and three other people were critically wounded during a biology faculty meeting on Friday afternoon, university officials said.

The Huntsville Times, quoting university officials, reported that a biology professor was being held in the shooting. WAAY-TV in Huntsville reported that the professor had been denied tenure.

The newspaper identified the professor as Dr. Amy Bishop, a Harvard-educated neuroscientist. According to a 2006 profile in the newspaper, Dr. Bishop invented a portable cell growth incubator with her husband, Jim Anderson. Police officials said that Mr. Anderson was being detained but they did not call him a suspect.

The shooting occurred in the university’s Shelby Center around 4 p.m. Central Time, officials said. Few students were in the building, and none were involved in the shooting, said Ray Garner, a university spokesman. Three faculty members were killed, and three other people – two faculty members and one staff person – were taken to Huntsville Hospital, with injuries ranging from serious to critical.

Officials said the suspected shooter was detained outside of the building “without incident.”

Justin Wright, a senior, was working in the building’s math lab on the second floor when police burst in with guns drawn. Mr. Wright told the Huntsville Times that his first thoughts were, “I need to get down, I need to get down.” He added, “I’ve never seen a gun or heavy artillery like that. I was shocked.”

The shooting came just a week after a middle school student shot in Huntsville shot and killed a classmate, leaving the town in shock.

“This is a very safe campus,” said Mr. Garner. “It’s not unlike what we experienced a week ago. This town is not accustomed to shootings and having multiple dead.”

The gray lawns of the campus were lit up by the flashing lights of police cars and ambulances with blue and yellow stripes as police and Swat teams descended on campus. The university police were the first to respond, but the Huntsville Police Department is now handling the investigation, officials said. The Madison County Sheriff’s Department is also assisting in the investigation.

The university was put on lockdown “almost instantaneously,” said Trent Willis, chief of staff to Mayor Tommy Battle. However, some students complained on Twitter and to reporters that they did not receive the university’s alert until hours after the shooting.

“The U-Alert was triggered late because the people involved in activating that system were involved in responding to the shooting,” said Charles Gailes, chief of the university police, at a news conference.

“We’re going to stop, we’re going to sit down, we’re going to review what happened,” Mr. Gailes said. “All of these actions are going to be learning points, and we’re going to be better for this.”

Erin Johnson, a sophomore, told the Huntsville Times a biology faculty meeting was underway when she heard screams coming from the room.

According to the 2006 profile, Dr. Bishop and her husband tired of using old-fashioned petri dishes for cell incubation, and designed a sealed, self-contained mobile cell incubation system. The system was described as reducing many of the problems with cultivating tissues in the fragile environment of the petri dish.

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