February 13, 2010 in Nation/World

Three professors killed, 3 hurt at Alabama school

Kristin M. Hall Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

A woman is taken into custody by Huntsville, Ala., police Friday, in connection with shootings at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
(Full-size photo)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Authorities say a woman opened fire during a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama’s Huntsville campus, killing three biology professors and injuring three other school employees.

University spokesman Ray Garner said the shooter was caught outside the building without incident, and no students were harmed in the shooting Friday.

Several students identified the woman who was being taken into custody as Amy Bishop, an instructor and researcher at the university. She was taken Friday night in handcuffs from a police precinct to the county jail and could be heard saying, “It didn’t happen. There’s no way … they are still alive.”

Local media also named the biology professor as the suspected shooter, though Garner said he could not identify her.

Police said no charges had been filed and they were interviewing the woman suspect and a man identified as “a person of interest.”

Garner said the three killed were Gopi K. Podila, the chairman of the department of biological sciences, and two other faculty members, Maria Ragland Davis and Adriel Johnson.

Two others were in critical condition, and a third who was wounded was upgraded to fair condition.

Sammie Lee Davis said his wife, Maria Ragland Davis, was a researcher who had tenure at the university.

In a brief phone interview, he said he was told his wife was at a meeting to discuss the tenure status of another faculty member who got angry and started shooting.

He said his wife had mentioned the shooter before, describing the woman as “not being able to deal with reality” and “not as good as she thought she was.”

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