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Helicopters, Dogs, Videos: Search for Abortion Clinic Gunman Goes On With AM-Clinic

December 31, 1994

Helicopters, Dogs, Videos: Search for Abortion Clinic Gunman Goes On With AM-Clinic Shootings, Bjt

BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) _ Helicopters hovered over the suburban street where two women were gunned down inside abortion clinics Friday.

An investigator swept a metal detector across the sidewalk in search of more of the brass casings that turned up in the gutters.

Officers paced the neighborhood, German shepherds at their side.

With no one in custody hours after the attack that also wounded five workers at the two clinics, Boston Mayor Tom Menino ordered police to guard all clinics and hospitals and Gov. William F. Weld promised state police protection to clinics throughout Massachusetts.

Crime scene tape ringed Preterm Health Services and the Planned Parenthood clinic a mile away on bustling Beacon Street, lined with 19th century apartment houses where young professionals, Boston College students and elderly Russian immigrants live.

Former Gov. Michael Dukakis lives nearby and trolley cars and pedestrians throng the street Boston marathoners sweat their way along every April.

Hundreds of anti-abortion activists have been arrested at Brookline’s three clinics over the past decade.

Ilya Michelson, who lives near Preterm, said shouting matches between demonstrators on both sides of the debate sometimes awakened him on summer mornings.

Still, he said he was surprised by the violence: ″It’s a very friendly neighborhood.″

A doctor who practices in the building that houses Preterm said even after deadly attacks on clinics elsewhere in the country, the bloodshed took him aback.

″I would think something like this was possible, but you always thought this area was not as unstable,″ said the doctor, who refused to give his name.

The killings frightened people around the country.

″I fear exactly what happened today, that I will step out a door or be standing outside and somebody walks up with a shotgun,″ said Janie Bush, director of Dallas’ Choice Foundation, which works with abortion providers.

″I’ve just been sitting here with my hair standing up on my arm in shock,″ said Carolyn Izard, director of Little Rock Family Planning Services in Little Rock, Ark.

At Planned Parenthood in Brookline, workers have received death threats lately, and Friday began with the usual gathering of protesters outside, said Nicki Gamble, president of Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts.

Workers there said the clinic’s door is kept locked and opens on a buzzer system. It was unclear how the gunman got in.

Investigators, meanwhile, began screening videotapes of protests held at the clinics over the years. Someone had said that one demonstrator resembled the description of the gunman given by witnesses at both clinics: A 5-foot-7 white man with a dark complexion, curly dark hair and black jacket and pants. Police described a single suspect but stopped short of saying the same man was responsible for both attacks.

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