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Indian-American professor among 3 killed

An Indian-American professor, Gopi Podila, the chairman of the biological sciences department, was among the three faculty members killed in a shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville on Friday. A female suspect was taken into custody.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2010 14:15 IST

An Indian-American professor was among the three faculty members killed in a shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville on Friday.

School spokesman Ray Garner identified the Indian-American professor as Gopi Podila, the chairman of the biological sciences department.

Podila's research interest included functional genomics of plant-microbe interactions and plant molecular biology and biotechnology.

The two other killed were Maria Davis, associate professor of biology, and Adriel Johnson, associate professor of biology.

Three other employees were wounded in the incident.

A female suspect was taken into custody for the shooting incident and a second person was detained, "not arrested", CNN said citing Garner.

Huntsville Police Chief Henry Reyes left open the possibility that more than one person had been detained.

"We have a suspect and possible persons of interest," he said late Friday.

"Until we go through everything, we're not going to say exactly how many or who we have."

The suspect was taken into custody outside the building, said Reyes. No weapon has been recovered, he said, and added that police were questioning the suspect, whom he would not identify.

Of the wounded, two were faculty members and the third was a staff member, he said.

Two of the injured are in critical condition. The injured were identified as department members Luis Cruz-Vera and Joseph Leahy and staffer Stephanie Monticello.

Garner said the incident occurred shortly before 4 p.m. in Shelby Hall.