From ABC News:

Colleagues are touting a University of Alabama biochemistry professor with heroically saving lives during last week’s campus shooting rampage.

… [Debra] Moriarity, 55, is a professor whose lab was next door to Bishop’s lab. She was also believed to be Bishop’s closest friend in the department.

… The shooting erupted about an hour into the meeting at a moment when Moriarity was looking at some papers. When she looked up, the chairman of the department Gopi K. Podila had been shot in the head and Bishop was firing a second round at the person sitting next to Podila, Adriel D. Johnson Sr., Moriarity said.

Bishop was going down the line, shooting each person in the head, although the sixth person was shot in the chest, she told the magazine.

Moriarity said she immediately dove under the table and scrambled over to Bishop. “I was thinking ‘Oh, my God, this has to stop,” she said.

The professor said she pulled and then pushed on Bishop’s leg, yelling, “I have helped you before, I can help you again!”

Bishop pulled her leg away from Moriarity’s grip and kept shooting, she said. Moriarity crawled past Bishop and into the hallway when she said Bishop turned towards her friend, the gun gripped with both hands and a look of fury on her face.

“Intense eyes, a set jaw,” Moriarity told the Chronicle. As Moriarity, still on her hands and knees, looked up at her one-time friend helplessly, Bishop pulled the trigger. Click. She fired again. Click.

As Bishop stopped to reload, Moriarity said she scrambled back inside the room and with the help of survivors, quickly barricaded the door with a table so Bishop couldn’t reenter the room and resume shooting…

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4 Responses to “Professor Moriarity.”

  1. Mr Punch Says:

    Good publicity to counter the recent Sherlock Holmes movie.

  2. j in brooklyn Says:

    Pushing her (Bishop) out had the effect of putting everyone
    outside at risk. Granted that no one in that room had any prior training or had ever thought about what to do in such a situation, there’s room for improvement from what I read online.

    Most reports state that the university was placed on “lockdown” after the massacre. This policy really derives
    from prison procedures, confinement because inmates cannot
    be allowed to leave the facility. It is a poor choice for
    most school shooting scenarios:

    From the prolific author, Greg Perry (about eBay and sundry computer topics:

    My bride, a former public school … just told me this: Lockdown is nothing more than an attempt to keep collateral damage to a fixed number. Its their (failed) hope that the maximum number of students who will die will be the number locked inside the room or hall with the shooter.

    from the Freemendo at Typepad blog 04 November 2007 Lockdown

    Lockdown, lockdown, lockdown. No, no, no. When the terrorists began their assault at Beslan, around 40% of the students and staff ran like cuh-razy to get away from the school. A few hid in the boiler room. Every single one of those children and adults lived.

    the “freemendo” blogger has quite a bit of relevant background, as his blog shows. Staying in place might
    or might not have been a good policy in Huntsville —
    ask him and see. But a “lockdown” of the building with
    an active shooter leads to disaster.

  3. Stephen Karlson Says:

    “Lockdown” is not the best choice of words. “Confined to quarters” is closer to what the first responders request. At Northern Illinois, that kept people confined to their classrooms or to their office buildings until the situation was clear. On the one hand, that meant additional targets had there been more than one gunman (there was a threat, unrelated to the actual event, of just that) going through nearby buildings (as early news reports erroneously suggested.) On the other hand, there are fewer gawkers or people leaving campus to get in the way of the police and medical workers.

  4. University Diaries » The University: Bloody but Unbowed Says:

    [...] The UAH professor who defied Bishop and shut down her massacre speaks. … [Debra Moriarity] worried that any attempt to tighten security could have negative consequences. “There is evil in the world; it is unfortunate that good people are hurt by that. But a university is a place of free thought and freedom to explore ideas and to search out new knowledge and you don’t want to put anything in place that dampens that.” [...]

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