Watch CBSN Live

Abortion Doctor On Internet Hitlist

Dr. Barnett Slepian, 51, was gunned down Friday night, just days after authorities warned abortion providers in the region about possible violence because the four earlier attacks happened within a few weeks of Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

``There's some type of connection on the date. We don't know what it is,'' Inspector David Bowen, who has been part of a Canadian-American task force that has investigated the shootings since November 1997.

The head of Planned Parenthood says Dr. Barnett Slepian was on a list of abortion doctors marked for death that was circulated on the Internet. The name, she said, was "crossed-off"after Slepian was gunned down in his home near Buffalo, New York.

Slepian's wife told police the shooting happened minutes after the couple returned home from synagogue. The Slepians' four sons, ages 7 to 15, also were home at the time.

The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms were investigating the killing.

Before Slepian, three Canadian doctors and a doctor near Rochester, N.Y., were shot and wounded since 1994. In each case, the doctors were fired upon with a high-powered rifle through windows in their homes. Canadian and American authorities issued safety tips to doctors on Tuesday.

``They were told to stay away from windows that weren't covered with curtains or blinds and to be aware of their surroundings and anything suspicious at their clinics,'' said Frank Olesko, Amherst's assistant police chief.

In a chilling premonition back in April of 1994, Dr. Slepian was quoted as saying that nothing can be done "about a single fanatic out there who's got a long range rifle."

Slepian's killer shot through a window with raised blinds from behind a back yard fence. A helicopter search was fruitless. The gunman remained at large Saturday.

Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feltd holds up a hard copy of the Internet hitlist

Abortion supporters and foes alike condemned the attack.

President Clinton said Saturday that he is ``outraged'' by the shooting death of a doctor who performed abortions, and that the Justice Department is working with local authorities to track down his killer.

New York Governor George Pataki (R-NY) said the killer should face the death penalty.

"This is an act of terrorism. In my view, it's a cold-blooded assassination and it cries out for us to do everything we can to catch this person and not just catch them, but when we do to bring them to justice and in my mind justice means the death penalty," said Pataki.

Dr. Barnett Slepian had been in the center of the abortion battle in the Buffalo, New York area for more than a decade.

He had vowed never to let never to let anti-abortion protestors deter him, but last niht the 51-year-old physician was killed by a single gunshot fired through the window of his house.

As WIVB-TV Reporter Craig Negrilli reports in previously shot videotape, the doctor had expressed fears for his family's safety, but not for himself.

"He said: 'They're not going to scare me. They're not going to threaten me," said Harvey Rogers, a family friend and lawyer who represented Slepian after the doctor faced charges following a clash with protesters in front of his home in 1988.

View CBS News In