by Steven Ertelt
September 11, 2009
Owosso, MI (LifeNews.com) — Local officials and state police are confirming that a pro-life advocate was shot and killed outside a high school in this Michigan town. The person, who is described as well-known but whose identity has not been released, was shot multiple times while protesting abortion outside Owosso High School.
LifeNews.com has learned that the pro-life advocate is James Pouillon and the local Argus Press newspaper in Owosso has confirmed that to be the case. He was reportedly shot multiple times.
In the spot where the Pouillon stood, a portable oxygen tank lay next to a sign with a picture of an unborn child and the word “Life.”
Officials say the shooting occurred at 7:30 a.m. local time and most students were inside the school building at the time of the incident. The shooting did not take place on school property but officials locked down the school and taped off most of the front portions of the school grounds.
State police have confirmed they apprehended a suspect about 8:15 a.m. at the suspect’s home in this small community northeast of Lansing.
Sara Edwards, the chief assistant prosecutor for Shiawassee County, has confirmed that Pouillon’s pro-life stance was the reason he was targeted and said the suspect officials have in custody disapproved of his abortion protests outside the schools.
“There was some displeasure with how open he was,” she said. “He tended to carry big signs with very graphic pictures of fetuses.”
The suspect will likely be charged later today.
Local police say there has been a second, possibly related shooting, in Owosso that they are now investigating.
The suspect in custody may have been involved in the second shooting that took place at a gravel company.
“We have two murders,” Shiawassee County sheriff George Braidwood told the Argus Press. “We believe they are related and we have a suspect in custody.
Owosso Police Chief Michael Compeau said at a news conference that a witness saw the license plate of a vehicle drive by the shooter who killed Pouillon.
“It appears to be some kind of a semi-automatic gun. It was fired from inside the vehicle,” he explained. “We could not tell if it was a long gun or a hand gun because it was fired from inside the vehicle.”
“I would speculate it was an intended,” he added. “He was out protesting right across the street from the high school at 7:20 this morning, and there were multiple people around there and that person was targeted.”
The suepect, a 33-year-old Owosso man, told police he was involved in a second killing and police confirmed they found the body of Mike Fuoss, the owner of Fuoss Gravel Pit, dead after being shot multiple times at close range in his office.
Gary Sheph, a local resident who lives near the high school, told the paper, he was sleeping when he heard “four shots and tires squeeling.”
“I just saw several people that I knew who were medical officials working on (Pouillon) and giving him CPR,” Shepherd said. “It’s a pretty sad day when somebody shoots someone over a political agenda that he had. He was always known as the ‘sign man.’ … This country is based on freedom of speech.”
Father Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, has commented on the shooting in an email to LifeNews.com.
“We do not know the motive yet. But this is a time to console one
another, and to renew our determination to organize peaceful protests,” he said. “It is no time for fear.”
Pavone called on abortion advocates to comdemn the shooting.
“And I am waiting to hear the abortion advocates condemn this killing,” he said.
The shooting follows on the heels of the killing of late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller of Kansas, who had been under investigation by the state medical board for allegedly doing illegal abortions.
Abortion advocates came down hard on the pro-life community for allegedly bearing responsibility for the shooting even though it appears the alleged assailant, Scott Roeder, has no official connections with any pro-life groups.
Leading pro-life organizations are expected to condemn today’s shooting and call on pro-abortion groups to do the same.
Filed under: VoteYesForLife.com