More violent or unsettling behavior by alleged campus shooter Amy Bishop emerged today with revelations that she punched a mother in a restaurant over a child's booster seat and some of her students petitioned to have her removed from class.
Despite the emergence of past complaints about Bishop, her husband suggested in an interview with ABCNews.com today that the academic community at the University of Alabama in Huntsville shares some of the blame for the carnage.
"I have worked around Ph.D.s before and they are pretty much the same," Jim Anderson said. "Psychologically, they run hot and cold. That's why we are asking the news media to investigate that whole world that no one knows of. We are referring to an isolated group, like monks, and no one knows what goes on there."
Bishop is charged with shooting six people, killing three and seriously wounding three others, at the end of a biology department meeting. A motive has not been determined, but associates said she was angry about having been denied tenured at the university.
Anderson talks to Bishop for a few minutes daily 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, aged 7 to 18, have been told about their mother's arrest, except for the youngest one.
"The youngest wouldn't understand," Anderson said.
Some of Bishop's students said they knew something wasn't right with her. Dozens of them signed a petition to remove Bishop last year after appeals to school administrators failed to get her out of the classroom.
One of the letters was addressed to the biology department chairman, Gopi K. Podila, but in a subsequent meeting with the students Podila dismissed their complaints, student Caitlin Phillips told the Associated Press. Podila was the first person shot when Bishop allegedly began her shooting spree last Friday.
In at least three complaints to administrators, the students said Bishop had unsettling ways, never looked students in the eyes, and frequently talked about her alma mater, Harvard University.
"We could tell something was off, that she was not like other teachers," Phillips told the AP.
The conversation with Podila was supposed to be confidential, but later in class Bishop used some of the same phrases that the students used when complaining about her.
"It was like she was parroting what we had said," Phillips said.
The AP reported today that Bishop admitted in court in 2002 to punching a mother in the head after the woman was given the last booster seat in an International House of Pancakes restaurant in Peabody, Mass.
Bishop apparently wanted a booster seat for her own young child and yelled at the woman, "I am Dr. Amy Bishop," according to the police report.
Peabody police Capt. Dennis Bonaiuto said Bishop admitted to the assault in court and the case was adjudicated, meaning the charges eventually were dismissed.
In addition, the Boston Globe reported today that after fatally shooting her brother in 1986, Bishop tried to steal a car from a dealership and ended up in an armed standoff with police.
A report by the Braintree, Mass., police said that Bishop was crouched behind a car and refused to put down a loaded pump-action shotgun.