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Amy Bishop Killed Brother: Accused University Of Alabama Shooter Shot Brother 20 Years Ago, Police Say

JAY LINDSAY   02/13/10 07:40 PM ET   AP

Amy Bishop

BRAINTREE, Mass. — An Alabama university professor accused of fatally shooting three colleagues at a faculty meeting this week shot her younger brother dead at their home in the Boston suburbs more than 20 years ago, but records of it are missing, police said Saturday.

Amy Bishop shot her teenage brother in the chest in 1986, Braintree police Chief Paul Frazier said at a news conference. Bishop fired at least three shots, hitting her brother in the chest, and then fled with the shotgun before police took her into custody at gunpoint, he said.

Before Bishop, who was 19 at the time, could be booked the police chief back then called officers and told them to release her to her mother, Frazier said. The shooting of the brother, Seth Bishop, an 18-year-old accomplished violinist, was logged that day as a "sudden death" and later considered accidental, but detailed records of the shooting have disappeared, Frazier said.

"The report's gone, removed from the files," he said.

The police chief said Saturday that he planned to meet with the local district attorney over the possibility of launching a criminal investigation into how the case was handled.

The police chief in 1986, John Polio, said Saturday in an interview at his Braintree home that he was astonished at any implication of a coverup. He said he didn't instruct officers to release Bishop and wasn't close to her mother.

"(There's) no coverup, no missing records," Polio said.

A University of Alabama at Huntsville spokesman said Bishop, who's in her 40s, had been denied tenure before she was held Friday in the campus shooting.

As Bishop was being taken to jail in handcuffs she said: "It didn't happen. There's no way."

Attempts by The Associated Press to track down addresses and phone numbers for Bishop's family in the Braintree area weren't immediately successful Saturday. Polio's wife said she believed the Bishop family had moved away.

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Filed by Lila Shapiro  |