Three dead: one Indian, two black. Harvard-educated professor, Amy Bishop, who snapped last week as a result of being denied tenure, was only successful in killing people of color in her violent shooting rampage. Along with an Indian native, two black scientists lost their lives Friday, Feb. 12 in the Biology Department at the University of Alabama, Huntsville; three others were wounded. Bishop now faces charges of capital murder and attempted murder in the otherwise quiet town.
Adriel Johnson, 52, was an associate biology professor in cell biology and nutritional physiology research. He also gave of his time to teach Boy Scouts about nature and science. He had two sons.
Maria Ragland Davis, 52 was an associate professor of biology at UAH. She had a doctorate from North Carolina State University and studied molecular biology and plant genetics, according to Dr. Jack Fix, dean of the UAH College of Science.
Both were among the dead.
Each of the slain educators will be fondly remembered, university officials said.
“A lot of people considered us as Mayberry, because nothing happens here,” Mayor Tommy Battle said in an interview with WHNT following the shooting. Now the north Alabama town and the campus wrestles to come to grips with the senseless shooting.
Bishop’s awkward personality was often discussed on campus, but none fathomed she had it in her to take lives. It occured in a third floor conference room in the Shelby Center for Science and Technology at approximately 4 p.m. She opened fire on the 12 members of the biological sciences department that had gathered there for a regularly scheduled faculty meeting.
Not even Bishop’s husband knew she might turn violent, according to the father of Bishop’s husband, James Anderson.
“He knew nothing. He didn’t know anything,” the father said. He said that the police had spoken with his son at length and that “they are doing a good job.”
The disgruntled professor did have a secret, though, that could’ve provided a forewarning. In 1986, she shot and killed her 18-year-old brother with a shotgun at their Braintree, Mass., home. She told authorities at the time that she was trying to learn how to use the gun, when it accidentally discharged. In all, three shots were fired; Braintree police Chief Paul Frazier said she shot once into a wall, then shot her brother, then fired a third time into the ceiling. Background checks failed to reveal the incident.
Bishop taught biology and anatomy classes. She joined the university in the fall of 2003. Her research interests were in the field of neurobiology. –gerald radford