OWOSSO, Michigan, September 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An elderly pro-life activist was shot multiple times and killed this morning in front of Owosso High School in Michigan while he was peacefully protesting abortion with a sign depicting a baby and the word “Life,” according to local police cited in the Flint Journal newspaper.
Locals say that the victim, James Pouillon of Owosso, was well-known in the area for his pro-life activities. Columnist Doug Powers wrote on his blog that Pouillon, called “the abortion sign guy” by Owosso locals, was known for standing on street corners holding up signs with pictures of aborted children.
Pastor Matt Trehella of Missionaries to the Preborn said today that Pouillon had joined his organization for a few stops of a pro-life tour less than a month ago. “Jim was a selfless, soft-spoken, kind-hearted man. All who knew him, knew this,” he said. “Please pray for Jim’s family.”
Trehella said that Pouillon was an elderly man who needed constant use of an oxygen machine.
Troy Newman, the President of Operation Rescue (OR), said that Pouillon was a friend of OR. “We are stunned by Jim’s murder,” he said. “We extend our condolences to the family and share in their grief over his loss. His life was characterized by his love and concern of the vulnerable, and he will be greatly missed.
“We denounce this senseless act of violence in the strongest terms, and pray that this murderer will be swiftly brought to justice.”
Reports indicate that a second individual was shot and killed in a different area of the city earlier in the day, and the two shootings are believed to be related, according to Shiawassee County sheriff George Braidwood. According to M-live.com, the second victim has now been identified as Mike Fuoss, 61, the owner of a local gravel pit. Fuoss was found dead in his office.
Police have confirmed that a suspect – a 33-year-old Owosso man – was taken into custody at the suspect’s home shortly after the 7:30 a.m. shooting. After being taken into custody he confessed to the second killing as well. Fuoss knew the suspected killer, according to police, and it is so far unknown if Pouillon did as well. The motive for either of the killings is not yet known.
However, Police Chief Michael Compeau said that Pouillon appeared to be a target. “I would speculate it was … intended,” Compeau said, according to the Associated Press. “He was out protesting right across the street from the high school … and there (were) multiple people around there and that person was targeted.”
A black car was parked near the scene of the shooting, where a portable oxygen tank lay in a front yard next to a large sign with the word “Life” and an image of a baby.
In the wake of the tragedy, Fr. Pavone of Priests for Life told LifeSiteNews.com that he hoped to see “a strong expression of indignation from the pro-abortion community, just like there was a strong expression of indignation from the pro-life community at the killing of Dr. Tiller.”
Secondly, Fr. Pavone called for “a renewal of unity within the pro-life community, coming to one another’s assistance supporting one another, and by no means allowing fear or intimidation to have any role in our lives, but rather to move forward in peaceful organized ways to stand against this evil of abortion.”
OWOSSO, Michigan, September 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – 33-year-old Harland James Drake has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder of pro-life veteran Jim Pouillon this morning as he carried a pro-life sign in front of a local high school, reports local news station WILX-TV.
Prosecutors said Drake told them he targeted Pouillon because of his pro-life activities.
“There was some displeasure with how open he was,” said Sara Edwards, Shiawassee County chief assistant prosecutor Sara Edwards, according to a New York Times report. “He tended to carry big signs with very graphic pictures of fetuses.”
Drake has also been charged with first-degree premeditated murder against Owosso business owner Mike Fuoss, felony firearm, and carrying a weapon with unlawful intent.
Police say Drake told them he was planning to kill a third individual, Owosso realtor James Howe, before he was apprehended.
Local news reports say Drake will return to court for a preliminary hearing on September 25th, and remains in custody without bond.
I’m not going to expend a lot of time being outraged that the pro-aborts aren’t too upset. For me, their reaction is typical and consistent with their belief in murdering human beings.
I will simply reiterate my unequivocal condemnation of the abortion of all human life (including Tiller the Killer’s own life) from conception to natural death.
The ultimate goal of the pro-life movement is to seek the respect and dignity due to every human life, and to convert our opponents to the cause of this dignity. I hope and pray that God will use Jim’s martyrdom for the unborn as a catalyst for the abolition of abortion.
This event will not disuade the pro-life movement. 40 Days for Life begins on September 23.