George Tiller Shooting Suspect Caught, No Connection With Pro-Life Groups

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 31, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

George Tiller Shooting Suspect Caught, No Connection With Pro-Life Groups

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 31
, 2009

Wichita, KS ( — Authorities have apprehended a Kansas man suspected of killing late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller on Sunday morning at his church. Police have identified the man as 51-year-old Scott Roeder of Merriam, Kansas and he has been detained but has not yet been officially charged.

As has been the case with most previous incidents of abortion-related violence, Roeder appears to have an affiliation with extremist political groups but not with the mainstream pro-life movement.

Pro-life groups have quickly and genuinely condemned the Tiller shooting.

In 1996, officials in Kansas apparently stopped his vehicle for not having a valid license plate, which he altered as an act of anti-governmental protest. His license plate apparently had slogans such as "Private Property, Immunity Declared at Law, Non-Commercial American."

According to the Kansas City Star, the FBI suspected Roeder of having ties with the Montana Freemen, a militia group, which had had standoffs with authorities.

The Star indicates that, after he was apprehended on an interstate highway in the prior incident, a search of his vehicle resulted in obtaining bombmaking material, including gunpowder and two six-volt lantern batteries.

In his home, authorities found a two-page bombmaking instruction manual.

Roeder has spent time in prison, including a 16-month stint after violating the terms of his parole related to the license plate incident.

Roeder’s only ties to pro-life groups appear to be messages he left on the public forum at the Operation Rescue web site concerning Tiller.

In one, he wrote about monitoring Tiller’s church, which is where he allegedly ultimately had a confrontation with the abortion practitioner at Reformation Lutheran Church and killed him.

"Bleass (sic) everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp," he wrote.

"Sometime soon, would it be feasible to organize as many people as possible to attend Tillers church (inside, not just outside) to have much more of a presence and possibly ask questions of the Pastor, Deacons, Elders and members while there? Doesn’t seem like it would hurt anything but bring more attention to Tiller," he said.

Another condemned Tiller saying he was like Hitler’s henchmen who engaged in genocide.

Roeder has applauded those very few people who support killing abortion practitioners and ran around in circles with the handful of people who believe in vigilante actions, but appears to have never been a member of any legitimate pro-life group that represents the majority of pro-life Americans.

Deputy Chief Tom Stolz, at a press conference on Sunday, indicated the Wichita police department would investigate Roeder’s past and background and look into the comments.

Authorities say they expect to charge Roeder on Monday and they believe he acted alone in killing Tiller. The charges could include aggravated assault because Roeder allegedly threatened two church members after killing Tiller.

Investigators will present the case to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.

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