Indian-American killed in US univ shooting

Last Updated: Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 11:49

Washington, Feb 13: An Indian-American professor was among three people killed when a woman teacher allegedly opened fire during a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama in the southern city of Huntsville.

Huntsville Police Chief Henry Reyes identified the Indian-American professor as Gopi Podilla, who was the Chairman of the biological sciences department.

The other two killed, Maria Davis and Adriel Johnson, were associate professors of biology.

Three people were also injured in the incident last evening, local media reported. Of the wounded, two were faculty members and the third was a staff member.

Reyes said a woman shooting suspect was in custody and a second person was detained, but not arrested.

"We have a suspect and possible persons of interest," he told reporters last night. "Until we go through everything, we`re not going to say exactly how many or who we have."

Police did not give the reason behind the incident, but local television WAFF, citing authorities, earlier said the woman shooter had opened fire after learning at a biology faculty meeting that she would not be granted tenure.

The incident is reported to have occurred shortly before 4 pm in Shelby Hall in the university campus last evening.

Police arrived at the scene at 4:01 pm and residence halls were locked down at 4:10 pm, Reyes said, adding the building was secured by 5:45 pm.

The University in an emergency notice posted on its website said the shooter has been apprehended.

"The campus is closed tonight (Friday). Everyone is encouraged to go home. Classes are cancelled for tonight," the university said.

Erin Johnson, a second-year student, told the Hunstville Times that the biology faculty meeting was underway at the Shelby Centre when she heard screams coming from one of the rooms.

San Francisco Chronicle reported that neuroscientist Amy Bishop was the key suspect and being held along with her husband.

Bishop, who joined the faculty in 2003, and her husband Jim Anderson had created a portable cell-incubator called "InQ" which won the couple an award in a state competition and they also received USD 25,000 of seed money in a business competition, the report said.

The Huntsville campus houses 7,500 students in northern Alabama. The university is known for its scientific and engineering programmes.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 11:49

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