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Michigan man charged with shooting elderly pro-life canvasser

A Michigan man shot and wounded an 84-year-old pro-life canvasser at his home last week, officials said.

The homeowner, 74-year-old Richard Harvey, surrendered to police on Friday and was charged with felonious assault and reckless discharge of a firearm causing injury in the Sept. 20 shooting, according to Ionia County Prosecutor Kyle Butler.

The canvasser, Joan Jacobson, told police she had knocked on the door to Harvey’s Odessa Township home and asked the woman who answered the door to vote against Proposal 3 in November — which would amend the state’s constitution to guarantee the right to abortion in the state, if passed.

Jacobson, a long-time volunteer for Right to Life of Michigan, told The Detroit News on Thursday that she was told to leave the premises when she “heard a shot” and “felt some pain.”

She then drove herself to a local police station and was later treated for a gunshot wound to the right shoulder at a hospital, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Harvey told local news outlet WOOD-TV that he had accidentally shot Jacobson while she was arguing with his wife after he had told her several times to get off their property.

He said he heard arguing coming from his barn and fired a warning shot at a tree with his wife’s .22 caliber rifle. But he said the woman kept “ranting and raving” and wildly waving her clipboard around.

Harvey said he feared that Jacobson was going to hit his wife with the clipboard.

“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.”

The gun discharged into the clipboard before striking her, prosecutors said. Jacobson denied that she ever waved her clipboard.

Most abortions are illegal in Michigan due to a 1931 state law. The law was suspended in May and struck down earlier this week as unconstitutional.

With Post Wires

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