President Barack Obama released a one sentence statement on Sunday regarding Friday’s shootings in Owosso. One of the two men killed was a longtime anti-choice advocate, who at the time of the shooting was standing in front of Owosso High School with his political signs, including one showing the picture of a baby with the word “Life” emblazoned on it.
“The shooting last week in Michigan was deplorable. Whichever side of a public debate you’re on, violence is never the right answer,” the President’s statement said.
Prosecutors have said accused shooter Harlan Drake shot Pouillion multiple times because he did not like the graphic pictures the anti-choice advocate presented to children. Drake’s other alleged victim, Mike Fuoss, was a 61-year-old owner of several businesses in Owosso, including the gravel pit at which his body was found Friday morning. A third man, an Owosso realtor named James Howe, was allegedly to be Drake’s third victim, but police apprehended him at his apartment before he had an opportunity to find the realtor.
Drake was arraigned late Friday afternoon on two counts of murder, along with other charges.
The Flint Journal reports that Pouillion appears to be the first anti-choice activist killed because of his beliefs. Abortion supporters and providers have been the target of violence for some time, including the recent shooting Dr. George Tiller in Kansas. Both sides have called the violence unacceptable.
Pouillion is hailed as “America’s first peaceful pro-life rescuer martyr” by Cal Zastrow onLifeSiteNews.com, a pro-life news outlet. Zastrow is identified in the story on LifeSite as a “friend,” but is in fact chairman of Michigan Citizens for Life.
And while Zastrow claims Pouillion was nonviolent, the slain activist had an extensive history of contact with law enforcement, including convictions for malicious destruction of property and stalking.
Prosecutors believe Drake also held grudges against Fuoss and Howe. The Associated Press reports that Howe has fled Owosso as a result of finding out he had been targeted for murder.