Debra M. Moriarity was the closet colleague to work with Amy Bishop Anderson and she has described the events leading to the shootings, death and wounding of 6 University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) staff members.
For almost an hour, the meeting focused on departmental business.
Ms. Moriarity was looking at some papers on the table when the first
shot was fired, killing the chairman of the department, Gopi K. Podila.
Ms. Moriarity looked up and saw Ms. Bishop fire the second shot.
Apparently, Ms. Bishop was simply going down the line, starting with
the people closest to her, killing Mr. Podila, Adriel D. Johnson Sr.,
and Maria Ragland Davis, all professors, and severely wounding
Stephanie Monticciolo, a department administrator, and Joseph G. Leahy,
a professor. All were shot in the head.
Another professor, Luis Rogelio Cruz-Vera, was shot in the chest.
After the second shot, Ms. Moriarity dove under the table. “I was thinking ‘Oh, my God, this has to stop,” she said.
Ms. Moriarity crawled beneath the rectangular table toward Ms.
Bishop, who was blocking the doorway. She grabbed at Ms. Bishop’s legs
and pushed at her, yelling, “I have helped you before, I can help you
again!” Ms. Moriarity had in fact worked with Ms. Bishop, and they
shared some similar research interests.
Ms. Bishop stepped away from her grasp. While still on the floor,
Ms. Moriarity managed to crawl partially out into the hallway. Ms.
Bishop, who continued shooting the entire time, then turned her
attention to Ms. Moriarity, placing two hands on the gun and pointing
it at her. Ms. Bishop’s expression was angry—”intense eyes, a set jaw,”
Ms. Moriarity recalled.
With Ms. Moriarity looking up at her, Ms. Bishop pulled the trigger twice. The gun clicked, apparently out of bullets.
Ms. Moriarity scrambled back to the room. Meanwhile, Ms. Bishop, now
barely in the hallway, appeared to be rummaging in her bag, perhaps
attempting to reload. Ms. Moriarity took advantage of Ms. Bishop’s
fumbling and closed the door. Others in the room then helped her push
the table against the door, fearing that Ms. Bishop would continue her
Dr. Moriarity’s colleague, Joseph Ng, said her actions took a lot of guts, and saved lives. In the meantime, Amy Bishop Anderson is said to be on suicide watch, which may be routine for a week or two. Jail officials say she is interacting normally, “just like anyone else,” and a psychiatric nurse working with Bishop says she has not exhibited any suicidal tendencies.
The stories about Bishop are beginning to leak. According to an unnamed source who knows Bishop, she was an enigmatic egghead and talking to her was “like crawling to the bottom of a coal mine with the lights off. I don’t think [her husband] ever really understood her. I don’t think anybody did.”
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