(BOSTON GLOBE) — The University of Alabama biology professor accused of opening fire and killing three colleagues at a faculty meeting Friday shot and killed her teenage brother more than two decades ago in Massachusetts, according to authorities.
But a local police chief and the district attorney’s office gave differing accounts today of the 1986 shooting, which occurred at the siblings’ home in Braintree, raising questions about the handling of that case.
According to the current Braintree police chief, Paul H. Frazier, Amy Bishop fatally shot her 18-year-old brother, Seth, on Dec. 6, 1986, but was set free the same day by Braintree Police under orders from then-Police Chief John Polio. In news accounts at the time, Polio called the death an accident that happened when Bishop was learning how to unload a shotgun.
Frazier challenged that account today, saying instead that Bishop shot her brother during an argument and fled on foot with the 12-gauge shotgun before being captured by police, who handcuffed her and took her to the station. The case file, including the report of the incident, disappeared shortly thereafter, he said.