Contradictory tales of 1986 Bishop shooting

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February 13, 2010, 10:18 pm

(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Braintree, Mass.) - New information emerged Saturday night from a State Police investigative report in conjunction with then-Norfolk District Attorney Bill Delahunt's Office in 1986, which sheds some light as to why Amy Bishop was never charged in the death of her younger brother 24 years ago.

Bishop, a Harvard educated biology professor, who grew up in Braintree, Mass., has been accused of shooting and killing three professors at the University of Alabama Huntsville and wounding three other colleagues Friday at a staff meeting -- what co-workers say could be a response to her not receiving tenure.

NECN has learned that back in December 1986, Amy Bishop fatally shot her brother Seth in the family's house on Hollis Avenue in Braintree in what was then called an accident, according to a report with the Norfolk District Attorney's office.

The report says her brother was trying to show her how to unload a gun when it accidentally went off.

She and her parents were interviewed.

The case was then closed.

But a version that contradicts that story was detailed by current Braintree Police Chief Paul Frazier, who also released a statement on the Bishop case.

"(She) had a fight with her brother, she shot her brother in the chest, fled the home, she fled down the street, pointed the weapon at a vehicle -- tried to get that person to stop," Chief Frazier said.  "Subsequently, our officers found her and arrested her at that time by gunpoint."

Chief Frazier says Bishop was never booked and never charged.

The police report from 1986 is missing.

"During the booking process she was released by orders of the former police chief," Chief Frazier said.

John Polio was the Chief in 1986.

Now 87 years old, we spoke with him at his home in Braintree, where he insisted there was no cover-up.

"There were records kept as to -- they questioned all of the people that were involved and anyone that knew anything about it," Polio said.  "Reports were made, reports were submitted, reports were deposited in the detective drawer.  Where they are?  I don't know."

"Cover up," Polio questioned.  "That is really a new word to me."

"I don't want to use the word cover-up. I don't know what the process of the chief was at the time," Chief Frazier said.

Chief Frazier says Amy Bishop's mother Judy was on the town personnel board at the time, and that back on December 6, 1986, the day of the shooting, "Amy was turned over to her mother and they left the building via a rear exit."

We tried to contact Judy Bishop at her home in Ipswich.

The lights were on, but no one came to the door.

A full review is planned with the current police chief, Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan and Norfolk DA Bill Keating to try to determine why that police report went missing.

Kelly Moore and his wife Rochelle bought the Braintree home and next door carriage house from the Bishops in 1996.

He told us Amy Bishop rented the carriage house when the Moores first moved in.

She lived there with three daughters.

He called her sweet, intellectual, and said he was shocked to hear about what happened in Alabama.

Tags: Amy Bishop, Braintree, Chief Paul Frazier, Chief John Polio
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