.- Harlan Drake, the 33-year old man arrested in connection with the murder of the Christian pro-life activist James “Jim” Pouillon as well as business owner Mike Fuoss told detectives that he targeted Pouillon because he was “offended” by his pro-life message. Drake also revealed that he planned to target a third man, but was arrested before he could carry out his plan.
This morning around 7:20 a.m., Drake drove to Owosso High School where he shot and killed Pouillon as he held a poster of a baby with the word, “Life,” written across the front.
A press release from Citizens for a Pro-Life Society spoke about the dedication Pouillon had to protecting the unborn. “The victim, dependent on an oxygen tank and who wore leg braces, was a committed pro-life activist who for many years stood outside of Flint area abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood offices in the hope of turning women away from their abortion decision.”
Following the shooting, Pouillon’s sign and oxygen tank could be seen in the grass near the street.
CNA spoke with Cal Zastrow, a close friend of Pouillon’s for 18 years who described him as a “wonderful, Christian, peaceful man.”
“Jim was ready for this,” Zastrow said as he recalled a time when they were both protesting outside of an abortion clinic in Saginaw, Mich. and were threatened by someone in a car driving by.
“Jim looked up at the sky and smiled and said, ‘thank you Jesus.’” He continued, “Jim was ready for this. His life had been threatened many, many times.”
Though some news reports have painted Pouillon as confrontational, Zastrow pointed out that abortion supporters consider “little old ladies with a handful of rosary beads on the corner” confrontational too.
Poullion, a born-again Christian was “a very peaceful man,” his friend stated. “Very non-violent, he never approved of violence and he never threatened anybody.”
This morning, Drake also drove to Fuoss Gravel where he shot and killed company president Mike Fuoss. According to ConnectMidMichigan.com, NBC25, Drake’s mother used to work for Fuoss.
Drake told detectives that there was third man he was planning to target, a realtor named James Howe. Before tracking him down, Drake decided to stop at his own house, where police were waiting to arrest him.
Shiawassee County Prosecutor Randy Colbry has noted that “The indication is that he had ill will ... a grudge against these three individuals."
Colbry went on to say that Drake “was offended by the manner of Mr. Pouillon's message."
Director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society Monica Migliorino Miller defended Pouillon in a statement saying, “Jim died while giving a peaceful witness to the sacredness of human life. He stood outside of the local high school on many occasions holding a sign of a baby to send a message to the students that abortion is the taking of innocent life. Now his life has been taken as he stood in witness against the injustice of abortion.”
“Jim Pouillon is a hero—he died for the cause of life,” Miller said.
The organization, Missionaries to the Preborn, also spoke highly of Pouillon, “Jim was a selfless, soft-spoken, kind-hearted man. All who knew him, knew this. Please pray for Jim's family.”
The Catholic Diocese of Lansing, Mich. released a statement saying that while they don’t know the specifics of what happened, the shooting is a “tragedy, since violence is never a justifiable way to solve problems.”