By Arun Kumar
Washington, Feb 14 (IANS) A professor at a US college charged with shooting and killing three colleagues, including an Indian professor, reportedly accidentally shot her 18-year-old brother with a 12-gauge shotgun more than two decades ago, according to media reports.
Amy Bishop, 45, a Harvard-trained neuroscientist, was Saturday charged with capital murder in the shootings Friday during a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama's biological sciences department that also left three people wounded.
Among those killed were Gopi K. Podila, chairman of the department, and two faculty members - Maria Ragland Davis and Adriel Johnson. Three were injured.
Bishop shot and killed her brother, Seth M. Bishop, in the abdomen during an argument in December 1986, and the case may have been mishandled by the police department when the fatal shooting occurred, the Boston Globe reported citing a Massachusetts police chief.
The newspaper first reported that Bishop was asking her mother, Judith, how to properly unload the gun when it went off and shot Seth. In a later report, Braintree Police Chief Paul Frazier gave a different account of the shooting.
"Bishop had shot her brother during an argument and was being booked by police when the police chief at the time ordered the booking process stopped and Bishop released to her mother," the Globe reported on its website. Records from the case have been missing since 1987.
"I don't want to use the word 'coverup', but this does not look good," Frazier was quoted as saying. Another newspaper, The Boston Herald, reported that Bishop also pointed the gun at a passing car after her brother's shooting.
University President David Williams said a prayer service for the three faculty members killed will be held at noon Sunday. "You always ask why in a situation like this," Roberts said. "There may never be an answer to that."
Meanwhile, Huntsville police said Bishop used a 9 mm pistol in the shooting before ditching the weapon in a second-floor bathroom at the college. She then called her husband for a ride.
Police found the weapon used in the deadly shooting in a bathroom on the second floor of the Shelby Centre for Science and Technology. Amy Bishop's husband, James Anderson, was detained after the shooting but has not been charged.
Further charges may be pending against Bishop, including attempted murder charges for the three people wounded during Friday's shooting, Huntsville Times said citing District Attorney Rob Broussard.
Additional charges will come after a preliminary hearing, which will be scheduled six weeks to two months from now.