Man Sought in Fatal Blast at Alabama Abortion Clinic
Investigators said Friday that they want to question a man whose pickup was seen near an abortion clinic right after a bomb blast killed a guard there.
A warrant was issued for 31-year-old Eric Robert Rudolph, said U.S. Atty. Doug Jones, but he stressed that Rudolph is a possible witness and is not under suspicion in Thursday’s bombing.
“No one should jump to any conclusions about the fact we are seeking Mr. Rudolph,” he said.
Rudolph’s last address was in Marble, N.C. The 1989 gray Nissan pickup seen at the clinic soon after the explosion was registered in his name in Asheville, N.C., Jones said.
The prosecutor provided no further details.
The Birmingham News reported that a witness saw a man wearing a wig fleeing the area after the explosion, which killed the off-duty police officer moonlighting as a security guard and critically injured a nurse. It was the first fatal abortion-clinic bombing in the United States.
The man removed the wig as he ran and dropped it into a blue bag before getting into a truck, the newspaper said.
The homemade bomb blew up the New Woman All Women Health Care Clinic a week after the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Roe vs. Wade that legalized abortion. The blast rattled the neighborhood, blew out the clinic’s windows and dug a huge crater outside the entrance.
The nurse, Emily Lyons, 41, suffered extensive injuries to her legs, abdomen and face, including the loss of an eye.
Robert D. Sanderson, the officer killed in the bombing, was replaced Friday by Officer Scott Morro, who wore a strip of black tape over his badge in memory of his friend.
The National Coalition of Abortion Providers alerted clinics in the Southeast to be on the lookout for the truck with the North Carolina license plate.
Sanderson, 35, was the sixth person killed in abortion clinic violence since March 1993, when a Florida doctor was fatally shot during a demonstration outside a Pensacola clinic. The other four deaths were also shootings.