Notification delay surfaces in Alabama shootings


“I think this case has caught people’s attention,” DiPasquale said. “Ideally, things like this would never happen, but because they do, it’s important to be sure your school is prepared.”

Meanwhile, Bishop’s attorney said Feb. 19 that his client is remorseful, but doesn’t remember the shootings of six colleagues.

Roy W. Miller said Amy Bishop, 44, is likely insane and does not remember pulling out a handgun and shooting six colleagues, three fatally, at a biology department faculty meeting one week ago at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

“She just doesn’t remember shooting these folks,” he said.

But he said she is now “aware of what she’s done. She’s very sorry for it.”

He said he has not spoken with her about where she got the gun. Police have said it was not registered to her, and her husband has said he does not know where she got it.

Miller said Bishop breaks down and cries, wanting to see her four children, but is trying to remain strong. Despite facing a possible death sentence, she is still concerned about her professional life and her position at the university.

“She said, ‘Do I still have a job out there?’ She asked me that yesterday,” Miller said. “She said, ‘Do you know if I have a job? I assume they fired me. Did they fire me?'”

University officials have said she remains on the payroll, but her $83,000-a-year job was ending at the end of the semester because she was denied tenure.

Bishop is charged with capital murder and attempted murder and is being held without bond.

Miller told the Associated Press in a Feb. 18 interview that Bishop has severe mental problems and appears to have paranoid schizophrenia.

He said Bishop’s failure to get tenure at the university was likely a key to the shootings.

Bishop, who has a doctorate from Harvard University and has taught at UAH since 2003, apparently was incensed that what she viewed as a lesser-known school rejected her for what amounted to a lifetime job.

“Obviously she was very distraught and concerned over that tenure,” Miller said. “It insulted her and slapped her in the face, and it’s probably tied in with the Harvard mentality. She brooded and brooded and brooded over it, and then, ‘bingo.'”

Bishop’s husband, James Anderson, told ABC’s Good Morning America he also thought the failed tenure battle was involved.

“Only someone who has been intricately involved with that fight understands what a tough, long, hard battle [it is]. … That, I would say, is part of the problem, is a factor,” he said in an interview that aired Feb. 19.

Anderson said his wife had never taken any anger management courses, even though prosecutors asked for that when she was charged with starting a fight over a booster seat at a restaurant in 2002. Anderson told ABC he didn’t think she needed the course. Bishop admitted to the assault in court, and the charges were dismissed six months later.

Miller said Bishop seems “very cogent” in jail, where he has spent more than three hours with her over two days, yet she also seems to realize she has a loose grip on reality.

“She gets at issue with people that she doesn’t need to and obsesses on it,” Miller said. “She won’t shake it off, and it’s really [something of] no great consequence.”

Bishop, who claims an IQ of 180, can’t explain the shooting and doesn’t remember anything about it, he said.