LAKE ODESSA, MI – Earlier this week, Red Voice Media reported on an elderly woman who was shot while handing out literature urging people to vote no on a pro-abortion measure in Michigan. Now, we have more information on the incident, which stemmed from what was reported as a “heated” discussion.
On September 20, the 84-year-old woman was canvassing a neighborhood with information regarding Proposal 3 (more on that below) with the group Right to Life Michigan. Witnesses described a “heated” conversation between the woman and a resident and then said she was shot in the back as she walked away from the house from a purportedly uninvolved party.
Local NBC affiliate WOOD-TV8 spoke with the man who claims he shot the elderly victim, 74-year-old Richard Harvey, who said the shooting was an “accident.”
Anna Visser is the Right to Life of Michigan’s Communications Director. She said in a statement, “No one should fear violence while peacefully exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech. This 84-year-old woman is hardly imposing, standing about 5 feet tall. The idea that shooting this woman is at all excusable is a dangerous claim for Americans across the country who engage in peaceful door-to-door canvassing.”
Harvey told the news outlet that the woman had been arguing with his wife, Sharon Harvey, who is pro-abortion. The victim allegedly refused to leave their property. As noted above, the victim was shot in the back/shoulder area.
“I came out, and [the volunteer] is screaming and having a great old time,” Richard said, “and being told, I’m sure I heard at least a dozen times, ‘You’re trespassing, get off the property.’”
When the reporter mentioned possible charges, in this case, Richard said, “It’s always possible. I shot somebody. It was an accident.”
Visser isn’t so certain about that, however. “Mrs. Harvey’s Facebook page reveals very strong opinions on abortion,” she said, “the issue the volunteer was canvassing about, and vitriol for prolifers and anyone who disagrees with her. Her extensive history of demonstrated hatred for people who disagree with her draws her account into question.”
Sharon spoke with the outlet as well, saying, “This lady comes up to me, knocks on my door, and says she’s from some coalition to save women and babies. She needed me to vote no on Proposal 3. I told her I can’t do that, and she says, ‘Well, you have to.’ I says, ‘No, I don’t. It’s not going to happen.’ I told her I had a four-and-a-half month tubal pregnancy, and she says, ‘Well, you survived, didn’t you?’
“She would not take the fact that I was going to vote yes on Proposal 3 as an answer,” Sharon continued. “She didn’t care. She didn’t care. I told her, I says, ‘Women are going to die. I nearly died.’ She says, ‘Well, you didn’t, did you?’ I says, ‘You need to go. Just go.’ She says, ‘Well, I have a right to be here.’ ‘No, you don’t; you need to go. You need to go now. Get off my property.’”
Richard came outside after hearing shouting, he said, holding his wife’s .22-caliber rifle. He said he fired a warning shot into a tree in front of the house.
“[The volunteer] is still ranting and raving, and she’s got this clipboard,” he said. “She’s waving it around. I’m thinking she’s going to smack Sharon with it. So without thinking, I went to club it away with the rifle, and my finger was still in the trigger guard. It went off and hit her about in [the right shoulder].”
The victim drove herself to the police department in fear of being shot again. She received medical treatment and is expected to survive her injuries.
Ionia County Prosecutor Kyle Butler has stated that he will be waiting for the police reports to be complete before deciding on whether to press charges against Richard for the shooting.
Michigan’s Proposal 3 guarantees essentially unregulated and unlimited abortion access. According to the Michigan Catholic Conference, “Proposal 3 goes far beyond just keeping abortion legal or reinstating the now overturned Roe v. Wade decision. It would allow abortions to be performed by anyone, at any point in pregnancy, and for any reason. It would throw away state laws regulating quality, safety, and inspections for abortion clinics. It would remove parental consent requirement for teens seeking abortions, and also teens seeking gender reassignment surgeries.”