Officer Robert "Sande" Sanderson

Officer Robert "Sande" Sanderson

Birmingham Police Department, Alabama

End of Watch Thursday, January 29, 1998

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Robert "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

View all 39 Reflections

My brother Russell and my momma Geri York spoke about you often. All of their memories of you were fond and funny with alot of brave and heroics mixed in. They both thought that you were great and you kept my momma safe on more than just a few occasions. Russell introduced me to your wife Felecia once at Hogans and called her "good people". Y'all are all in heaven now. Looking forward to meeting you one day. But not yet.

Leasa Moore

June 30, 2019

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