Was An Anti-Abortion Protestor Gunned Down For His Beliefs?

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A 63-year-old anti-abortion protestor named James Pouillon was shot to death this morning outside a high school in Owosso, a small Michigan town not far from Flint. According to news reports, Pouillon—who was carrying graphic photos of aborted fetusus—died after being struck by multiple shots fired from a moving pick-up truck. Already, some pro-lifers have dubbed him a martyr, and Concerned Women for America wants Attorney General Eric Holder to acknowledge Pouillon’s death as he did the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller earlier this year. Details are still murky, but local authorities are saying that the alleged shooter was indeed motivated by Pouillon’s pro-life protests.

 

Police have charged Harlan James Drake, 33, with murdering both Pouillon and a second man. Shiawassee County Prosecutor Randy Colbry told reporters that Drake also planned to kill a third target but was arrested before he could do so. According to the Detroit Free Press, which has the most detailed account of the shootings so far:

Colbry said authorities do not believe that the two homicides and the third plot were related, saying “They stemmed from individual grievances Drake had with the victims.”

Colbry said the grievances were not known in detail, but that the killing of Mr. Puillon was related to the latter’s anti-abortion protest. But he said, “The defendant was offended by the manner of Mr. Pouillon’s message.”…

[Owosso Public Safety Director Mike Compeau] said it was not known what abortion views are held by the shooting suspect.

Google doesn’t yield much on Drake; I’ll update if new details emerge.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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