PENSACOLA, Fla. -- A protester shot a doctor to death at a Pensacola abortion clinic Wednesday after telling the physician, 'Don't kill any more babies,' police and protesters said.
Dr. David Gunn was shot behind Pensacola Medical Services at 9:44 a. m. Wednesday and died a short time later during surgery at Sacred Heart Hospital, Police Sgt. Jerry Potts said.
Gunn was shot several times in the chest with a .38-caliber revolver, Potts said.
Michael Frederic Griffin, 31, was arrested at the scene on an open count of murder.
Griffin approached a police officer and 'admitted to him that he had just shot a person in the rear of the building, behind the building,' Potts said.
Potts said police did not know what provoked the shooting. But Rescue America, a Houston group that sponsored the protest demonstration at the clinic, said the shooting followed a brief exchange in which Griffin told the doctor, 'Don't kill any more babies.'
Don Treshman, national director of Rescue America, issued a statement saying, 'While we think Gunn's death is unfortunate, the fact is that a number of mothers would have been put at risk today and over a dozen babies would have died at his hands.'
'Pro-lifers are asked to pray that he had a chance to ask for God's forgiveness for his part in the abortion holocaust before his demise,' Treshman said.
Potts said there were 12 to 15 protesters demonstrating outside the clinic at the time of the shooting. Police also answered a complaint about protesters at the clinic on Friday, but there were no incidents or arrests Friday.
Rescue America said Wednesday's demonstration was the first it had held outside the clinic.
Gunn leaves a wife and two children aged 10 and 12.
Griffin was still at the Pensacola police station Wednesday afternoon and will be booked into the Escambia County Jail, police said.
Treshman said the suspect was not a member of Rescue America, but was 'affiliated with an affiliate' that he declined to identify. He said Griffin had shown up regularly at abortion clinic protests in recent months, though there was never any previous indication that he carried a gun.
'He's always been quiet and kept to himself. Everyone is kind of surprised by this,' Treshman said.
He said Rescue America is not affiliated with the Operation Rescue anti-abortion group, and has a mailing list of about 35,000 families. Treshman also said Rescue America would continue its protests in Pensacola.