Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Amy Bishop Debra M. Moriarity: Debra Moriarity Heroic Professor at UAH Shooting Saved Lives

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.

 
Dr. Debra Moriarity

Moriarity, 55, has been at UAH since 1983. She is a professor of biochemistry, and the dean of the graduate school. Her laboratory was located next to Amy Bishop's. Here are snippets of her story:
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 rampage.
 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."

Related and Background:

Amy Bishop Debra Moriarity: Moriarity Heroic Prof at UAH Shooting Saved Lives 

Bill Delahunt Releases Bishop? Bishop Points Gun at Passing Car

Amy Bishop Shot and Killed her Brother 20 years ago

Gopi Podila, Maria Ragland Davis and Adriel Johnson Murdered at UAH

Amy Bishop is UAH  Shooter


 


©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton