Five years ago, Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed at the Wichita, Kans., church where he was an usher. Tiller was widely known for performing abortions in late pregnancy and had become a target for protests.
It was the morning of May 31, 2009, and fellow usher Gary Hoepner remembers they had finished their greeting duties and had walked out into the waiting area to get a doughnut.
"I seen the figure coming out of my peripheral vision. I looked over like that, the gun was up to George's head," Hoepner says. "The gun goes off, and I go, 'Was that a real gun?' Then George fell; I said, 'Oh my God, oh my God,' in my head. And then he took off and I took off after him."
Several hours later, Scott Roeder was arrested as he was driving toward Kansas City, Kan. At his trial, Roeder admitted killing Tiller, insisting that what he did was necessary. "I did what I thought was needed to be done to protect the children. I shot him," Roeder said.
Roeder was convicted of first-degree murder and given an enhanced sentence of 50 years.