HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Feb. 17, 2010 -- 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.
Amy Bishop Punched a Woman Over a Restaurant Booster Seat
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.
"Miss Bishop seemed frightened, disoriented and confused, but she kept both her hands on the shotgun at all times,'' the officer wrote in a police report. "She wouldn't drop the gun.''
The confrontation ended when an officer snuck up behind Bishop and handcuffed her, the report said.
Nevertheless, Bishop's shooting of her brother was deemed to be accidental and she was not charged for any of her actions after the shooting.
The lead prosecutor who would've handled the case at the time, now U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, told the AP today he does not remember the case well.
John Polio, the now-retired police chief who ruled the death an accident in 1986, initially denied there was a cover-up, but on Tuesday said he now has questions about the quality of the investigation.
Bishop also was questioned, and again never charged, in a 1993 attempted mail bombing of a Harvard professor.
Grim new details came out today about what happened during the last Friday's shooting.
Professor Debra Moriarity, who had a lab next to Bishop's and was considered her closest friend on campus, told "Good Morning America" that she pleaded for her life, but Bishop fired at her anyway.
Moriarity, 55, said she dove under the table when the shooting began, crawled under the table and grabbed Bishop's legs, but couldn't make her stop shooting. Moriarity said she then tried to crawl out of the room, but her friend pointed the gun at her.
"I know I yelled at her, 'Amy, think about my grandson, think about my daughter," the Alabama professor told "GMA."
Moriarity said her friend was unmoved by her pleas.
"She stepped out in the hall and pointed the gun at me and pulled the trigger. And it clicked and clicked again. She moved around a little, click," Moriarity said. "I'm here talking to you today because the gun didn't fire."
Amy Bishop Was 'Going to Keep on Shooting'
When Bishop paused, Moriarity scooted back into the conference room and other survivors locked the door and barricaded it with a small refrigerator.
In reliving the terror of that morning, Moriarity said she heard a shot and looked up to see Bishop holding a gun and firing.
"She looked like she was intent on doing this and she was angry," Moriarity recalled.
"She was going to keep on shooting, you could see that," Moriarity said. "She was very intentional and methodical."