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Husband: Ala. prof went to range before shooting

Liz De La Torre

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From The Associated Press

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The husband of an Alabama professor accused of fatally shooting three colleagues said Monday that he’d gone with her to a shooting range recently but that he didn’t know where she got the gun she used for practice that day.

James Anderson told The Associated Press that his wife, Amy Bishop, didn’t do anything unusual in the days before Friday’s shooting. Bishop, a Harvard-educated neurobiologist, is accused of pulling a gun at a faculty meeting and shooting six people, three fatally. Two of the survivors remained in critical condition Monday.

Anderson said he knew his wife had a gun, but didn’t know when or how she got it.

“I really don’t know how she got it, or where she got it from,” he said.

Police have previously said Bishop had no permit for the gun they believe she used in the shooting, and investigators said they didn’t know where she got it. It’s not clear if that was the same gun that her husband knew about.

Bishop’s husband said nothing unusual happened on their trip to the shooting range, and that she didn’t reveal why she took an interest in target practice. Nothing in her behavior before the shooting foreshadowed the violence last week, either, he said.

“She was just a normal professor,” he said.

On Monday, some victims relatives were questioning how Bishop was hired at the university in 2003 after she was questioned years ago in separate criminal probes.

In 1986, Bishop shot and killed her 18-year-old brother with a shotgun at their Braintree, Mass., home. She told police at the time that she had been trying to learn how to use the gun, which her father had bought for protection, when it accidentally discharged.

Authorities released her and said the episode was a tragic accident. She was never charged, though current Braintree police Chief Paul Frazier questions how the investigation was handled.

Her husband said Monday he had known about her brother being shot, but said “it was an accicdent. That’s all I knew about it.”

In another incident, The Boston Globe reported that Bishop and her husband were questioned by investigators looking into a pipe bomb sent to one of Bishop’s colleagues, Dr. Paul Rosenberg, at Children’s Hospital Boston in 1993. The bomb did not go off, and nobody was ever charged.

James Anderson defended himself and his wife as innocent people questioned by investigators casting a wide net. He said the case “had a dozen people swept up in this and everybody was a subject, not a suspect.”

“There was never any indictment, arrest, nothing, and then everyone was cleared after five years,” he said.

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Husband: Ala. prof went to range before shooting