Like Abortion, Tiller's Death a 'Senseless Act of Violence'

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 6/1/2009 6:55:00 AM A law enforcement official says authorities have searched two homes -- one in Kansas one in Missouri -- as they investigate the killing of abortion doctor George Tiller.

Prosecutors say they'll wait until Tuesday to decide on charges against a man suspected of shooting and killing Tiller in his Kansas church. Officials say Scott Roeder is being held without bail in a Wichita jail while investigators seek to learn more about his background. He was arrested just hours after Tiller was killed yesterday, but has not been charged in the slaying.

Roeder's brother told a Kansas newspaper that the family never foresaw him capable of killing. David Roeder said in a statement to The Topeka Capital-Journal that the family is "shocked, horrified and filled with sadness at the death of Dr. Tiller" and the possible involvement of Roeder. His brother, he said, is "kind and loving," but suffered from mental illness at times in his life. "None of us ever saw Scott as a person capable of or willing to take another person's life," he said.

Original story --

The pro-life community continues to reject any reason as legitimate for the slaying of late-term abortionist George Tiller on Sunday morning in Wichita, Kansas.

Tiller's family calls his slaying "particularly heart-wrenching" because he was "shot down in his house of worship." The 67-year-old abortionist, one of the few U.S. doctors to perform late-term abortions, was killed as he served as an usher during Sunday morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita. (See earlier article)

The gunman fled, but a 51-year-old suspect was arrested three hours later, some 170 miles away in a Kansas City suburb. A Johnson County sheriff's spokesman identified the detained man as Scott Roeder.

Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said it looked like the gunman acted alone, although authorities were investigating whether he had any connection to pro-life groups. (View portions of press conference with Chief Stolz)

Derrick Jones of the National Right to Life Committee responds to news of the Sunday morning attack. "It goes without saying that National Right to Life -- as the entire pro-life movement does -- unequivocally condemns this act of violence and any such acts of violence regardless of whatever motivation is responsible for it," he states.

Already organizations such as the National Organization for Women are blaming the tragedy on the pro-life movement. NOW has labeled the murder as an act of "politically-motivated domestic terrorism" and has called on the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to put their full resources behind the effort to "root out and prosecute...the criminal enterprise that has organized and funded criminal acts for decades."

Jones views that reaction as unfounded. "The pro-life movement has always in our 36-year history worked to protect the right to life and increase respect for human life and its unborn children through peaceful, legal means," he says. "Ultimately the use of violence is directly contrary to our goals."

Katie Walker with American Life League joins the National Right to Life Committee in condemning the murder. "This was a senseless act of violence similar to how all abortions are senseless acts of violence," she offers. "We condemn the violence perpetrated against George Tiller, and we also condemn the violence perpetrated on millions of children in the womb." (Listen to audio report)

Like Jones, she argues that violence is not part of the pro-life movement. "...[W]e remain committed to working for the life and the personhood and human rights of every human being -- George Tiller and pre-born children alike," she adds.

Walker asks people to remember the Tiller family in prayer. "We beg God for his mercy on George Tiller's soul," she urges. "I know our organization has been praying unceasingly since we heard about this, so we encourage others to do so as well."

According to The Associated Press, the suspect in the killing is being held without bail today on murder and other charges. In the meantime, investigators are trying to learn more about his background, including the extent of his connections to pro-life groups. AP says a man with the same name as the suspect has a criminal record and a background of pro-life postings on sympathetic websites.