Three killed in University of Alabama shooting

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:19pm EST

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - Three faculty members at the University of Alabama in Huntsville were killed on Friday when a biology professor started shooting during a faculty meeting, police and university officials said.

Three other faculty staff members were wounded in the shooting at the university's Shelby Center science and technology building.

Huntsville police and a university spokesman said the suspected shooter, a female faculty member, was arrested, and a man was also detained.

Another university official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters the female suspect arrested was Dr. Amy Bishop, a Harvard University-trained biology professor.

The Huntsville Times published a photograph of the blond-haired suspect, dressed in blue jeans and a gray jersey, being led to a police car by an armed policewoman.

CNN's Alabama affiliate said the suspect had been told before the shooting that she was being denied tenure.

"There was a shooting at the University of Alabama at Huntsville between 4:05 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. There are three fatalities and three critical injuries and the suspect is in custody. The campus is in lockdown. We are working to save these lives," Trent Willis, chief of staff and communications for the City of Huntsville, told Reuters.

Huntsville police said all of the dead were faculty members.

"I heard three shots and screaming," Melanie Gates, an engineering student at the campus, told Reuters.

She was near the exit of the Shelby Center when the shootings happened and she said the sound of the shots appeared to come from the third floor, where the faculty meeting was taking place.

There have been a number of deadly school shootings in the United States in recent years, including a rampage at Virginia Tech University in 2007 when a student killed 33 people, including himself.

(Reporting by Verna Gates; Writing by Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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