Officer Sande Sanderson

Officer Sande Sanderson

Birmingham Police Department, Alabama

End of Watch Thursday, January 29, 1998

Sande Sanderson

Officer Sande Sanderson was killed when a bomb exploded as he worked an overtime assignment at an abortion clinic located at 1001 17th Street S.

Officer Sanderson and one of the clinic's nurses were opening the clinic when the bomb detonated. The nurse was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Officer Sanderson is the first person ever to be killed in an abortion clinic bombing.

The subject had evaded searches involving several hundred state and federal officers by hiding in a national forest in North Carolina since the incident. The man was apprehended on May 31st, 2003, when a police officer in Murphy, North Carolina, spotted him digging through a dumpster and arrested him. On April 13th, 2005, the man plead guilty to the bombing in which Officer Sanderson was killed. He was sentenced to four life sentences.

Officer Sanderson was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served with the Birmingham Police Department for nine years. He is survived by his wife and one child.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge 257
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Bomb
  • Weapon Explosives; Bomb
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Sande was a friend of mine. We served together in the United States Air Force in the mid 80's when we were both stationed at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. Sande and his roommate were the first two people to greet me when I first arrived as a young 17 year old kid. As it so often happens, I lost touch with Sande when he left Alaska. Several years later, I learned about his demise. I don't know anything about his police career, but I am sure he served his office in the same manner he approached everything else in his life; with compassion and a genuine love of people. It is my wish that he is always remembered as a hero and a wonderful human being.

Lieutenant Marc Fletcher
Parker County Sheriff's Office

October 21, 2017

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