Alleged University Shooter's Husband Thought 'Somebody Had Gone Crazy at the School'

Husband of Amy Bishop Speaks to "Good Morning America: in an Exclusive Interview

Lost amid the fallout from this week's shooting at the University of Alabama are its youngest victims -- the children of alleged shooter Amy Bishop.

Bishop's husband, James Anderson, talks to his wife for a few minutes each day on the phone, but has not been allowed to visit her yet.

"She calls about the kids," said Anderson. "Are they doing their homework?"

Their four children, ages 7 to 18, have been told about their mother's arrest, except for the youngest one.

VIDEO: Amy Bishops Husband Jim Wants Answers

"The youngest wouldn't understand," Anderson told ABC News.

Anderson Defends Wife

Anderson said his wife has never had mental health problems. Even though the prosecutor recommended anger management training, Anderson said she never sought it, and he didn't think she needed it.

He said she was a capable instructor and researcher, noting that she faced a "battle" over tenure.

"I just witnessed the day-to-day appeals, the letters, they just went back and forth," he said.

But they never diminished her spirit, he said. "Well, she's a fighter, and you don't get through a Harvard Ph.D. program without being singularly focused on your goal."

GMA Exclusive: Amy Bishops Husbands Speaks

Even though she had been denied tenure, Bishop had other job prospects, he said.

"She put a few feelers out, and three other universities got back to her," he said, adding that the couple had planned to establish their own research institute.

He described his wife as a loving and caring partner and mother. She made time for her children despite her busy schedule, and didn't like to discipline them.

"She preferred to guide them, to hug them, convince them to do what they should be doing," he said.

The entire family would go to church on Sunday and watch Netflix movies on the weekends and visit relatives at Christmas. She was involved in the PTA and her children's activities, and was working on three novels, he said.

GMA Exclusive: The Shooting Aftermath

"She proved you could be a wife, mother and a researcher. That you don't have to give up the other two," he said. "There's no reason why a woman can't go out there and be a mother, a wife and have a career that means something."

Fractured Family

Anderson hasn't seen Bishop since her arrest, but in their daily telephone conversations, she asks about their children -- three teen girls and an 8-year-old boy.

"She's worried about the kids, wants to make sure they're eating right, doing their homework, that we're all fine here," he said.

Anderson, now a single father to the couple's four children, said the past week has been hard, but that many in the city of Huntsville have rallied around his family. On the night of the arrest, two teachers' from his daughters' school actually came to the house to check on them, he said.

GMA Exclusive: Why Anderson Loves His Wife

Pastors from their churches -- they attend services at two nondenominational Christian congregations -- have visited to pray with the family.

He said his faith has been tested "to the limit" and had moments when he becomes totally overwhelmed by fear of the future.

Family's Goals Remain the Same

"Just the whole, why did this happen, how did it happen and then how do I get up the next day and take care of the kids?" he said.

His children are "barely holding up, but they're strong," he said, adding that he's trying to keep them occupied and distracted.

Meanwhile, he's been focused on his family's future, and the fact that his wife could likely not figure in it on a daily basis.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...