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Professor charged over triple college murders

A biology professor at a southern US university has been charged with murder after the shooting deaths of three fellow biology professors at the campus.

Authorities say Amy Bishop, an instructor and researcher at the University of Alabama's Huntsville campus, opened fire during an afternoon faculty meeting, killing the three and injuring three other school employees. Bishop has been charged with one count of capital murder, which means she could face the death penalty if convicted.

Bishop was taken from a police precinct to the county jail and was heard saying: "It didn't happen. There's no way .... they are still alive."

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

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

No students were harmed in the shooting.

The husband of one of the women injured said he was told his wife was at a meeting yesterday 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".

Bishop, a neurobiologist from Harvard University, joined the UAH biology faculty as an assistant professor in 2003.

Andrea Bennett, a sophomore majoring in nursing, was in one of Bishop's classes on the morning of the shooting.

Bennett said nothing seemed unusual, but she described Bishop as being "very weird" and "a really big nerd".

hnews@herald.ie


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