Disappointment turned deadly at the University of Alabama Huntsville campus, during a biology faculty meeting on Saturday, February 13, 2010, when Amy Bishop, Ph.D. opened fire. While her motive for the shooting is unclear, it is thought that she was angry at not being granted tenure by the University.
She killed the chairman of the biology department and two other faculty members. Three others were wounded.
Since the horrific event, much has been learned about Ms. Bishop, and people want to know how she managed to be hired by UAH.
It is reported that she shot and killed her brother in 1986. At the time the shooting was called "accidental", and she was not formally charged. Recent reviews of the police investigation that followed show a failure on the investigating authorities part.
In 1993, she was questioned by authorities about an unexploded pipe bomb a colleague received.
Wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of the distributees of the three faculty members killed are certain to follow. All three were married and had children. Each family has suffered a huge pecuniary (money) loss. The faculty members were highly educated, highly productive, and well paid. Each may also have had private business and consulting interests based on their expertise.
Potential defendants include Ms. Bishop and the University of Alabama. In the usual case, criminals responsible for wrongful death seldom have assets to pay successful plaintiffs (remember O.J. Simpson); however, Ms. Bishop reportedly had had some success in developing products and raising funds to market them.
The University's responsibility may be for hiring Amy Bishop without vetting her properly. Had it done so, the anomalies in Ms. Bishop's life may have been discovered before she acted murderously.