HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A colleague of the University of Alabama professor who allegedly shot to death three co-workers is credited by witnesses with preventing further bloodshed.
Debra Moriarity, 55, a science professor and friend of accused slayer, biology professor Amy Bishop, reportedly saved her own life and the lives of others present during Bishop's shooting rampage Friday at the university's Huntsville campus, ABCs' "Good Morning America" reported Tuesday.
"I believe that she acted very quickly to try and stop Dr. Bishop from shooting again. It's just unbelievable that someone could act that way in such terrible circumstances," said University of Alabama Huntsville president David Williams.
Moriarity said that as Bishop was going down the line of people around the department's meeting table, Moriarity grabbed Bishop's leg and yelled, "I have helped you before, I can help you again!"
Bishop continued to try to shoot, but ran out of ammunition. Moriarity said she and others pushed Bishop into the hall, and barricaded the entrance with a table.
Bishop had been investigated, but never charged, in the 1986 shooting death of her brother, and was questioned, but not charged, in the attempted mail bombing of a Harvard professor in 1993. Investigators said those crimes are being subjected to fresh scrutiny.
Williams said the school had received three favorable recommendations for Bishop before hiring her, and said the earlier incidents would not have shown up in such a check.