Languages
Page last updated at 17:02 GMT, Monday, 1 June 2009 18:02 UK

Man quizzed over US doctor death

Supporters
Dr Tiller ran a controversial clinic offering late-term abortions

Police in the US state of Kansas are continuing to question a man suspected of killing a prominent abortion doctor.

Dr George Tiller, 67, was shot dead at a church in Wichita.

He was one of the few US doctors performing late-term abortions, and had been strongly criticised by anti-abortionists in the US.

Investigators are trying to establish if the suspect, who has not been officially identified, had connections to anti-abortion groups.

Charges expected

The suspect, named as Scott Roeder, was arrested in a suburb of Kansas City, about 170 miles (274km) from the scene, about three hours after the shooting.

He was brought to Wichita, where he is expected to be charged.

Wichita Deputy Police Chief, Tom Stolz, said the suspect was likely to face one charge of murder and two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly pointing a gun at two other men.

Earlier, US Attorney General, Eric Holder, said the US would offer protection to "appropriate people and facilities" in the wake of the killing of Dr Tiller.

His clinic - called Women's Health Care Services - had often been the site of demonstrations, and he had been shot and wounded by an assailant 16 years ago.

George Tiller

Dr Tiller was shot just after 1000 (1500 GMT) on Sunday at the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita.

His widow, four children and 10 grandchildren issued a statement calling his killing "an unspeakable tragedy".

The statement said: "This is particularly heart-wrenching because George was shot down in his house of worship, a place of peace."

Anti-abortion groups also denounced the shooting.

In a statement, Troy Newman of Operation Rescue said his group denounced "vigilantism" but that it had worked for years through peaceful and legal means and to see Dr Tiller "brought to justice".

ANTI-ABORTION ATTACKS
Oct 1998: Dr Barnett Slepian shot dead, Buffalo, New York
Jan 1998: Policeman killed in blast at clinic near Birmingham, Alabama
Dec 30 1994: Two receptionists shot dead at clinics near Boston
July 1994: Dr John Britton and a volunteer escort killed outside clinic, Pensacola, Florida

President Barack Obama said he was shocked and outraged over the killing.

"However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence," Mr Obama said.

Abortion is a highly emotive subject in US public life, and the shooting came two weeks after the president made a major speech on the subject at one of the main Catholic universities in the US.

Dr Tiller's clinic is one of just three in the US to perform abortions after 21 weeks.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
US abortion doctor is shot dead
01 Jun 09 |  Americas
Profile: George Tiller
01 Jun 09 |  Americas
Obama faces down abortion heckles
17 May 09 |  Americas
Vatican attacks US abortion move
25 Jan 09 |  Europe
Obama lifts ban on abortion funds
24 Jan 09 |  Americas


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific