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84-year-old pro-life grandma shot going door to door

Sarah Robsdottir - published on 10/03/22

She now warns others to never gather signatures alone.

Joan Jacobson, a retired nurse from Lake Odessa, Michigan, was interviewed by The Daily Signal recently about how she was shot while canvassing neighborhoods to share pro-life information on September 20. The bullet from a .22 caliber rifle entered near the front of her shoulder and exited through her back, closely missing her spine.

Richard Harvey, 74, who Fox News reports was charged 10 days later in association with the shooting, turned himself into police on the day of the incident. He claimed the 5-ft tall, 120-lb grandmother had harassed his wife Sharon Harvey on the front porch of their home. Harvey said for this reason, he fired a warning shot into a pine tree. Harvey explained the second gun shot, the one that hit Jacobson, was an accident: “My finger slipped.”


Shortly before both gunshots rang out, Jacobson had knocked on Harvey’s door to collect signatures and pass out pro-life literature about voting “no” on Proposal 3 in November. This proposal, if passed, will amend the Michigan state constitution to guarantee a “right” to abortion. [Note: Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June, most abortions in Michigan are now illegal.]

Richard Harvey’s wife Sharon Harvey answered the door and expressed opposition to Jacobson’s pro-life stance. A discussion ensued. Sharon Harvey told Jacobson to “get off my property.” Jacobson complied; she was shot on the sidewalk while standing beside her car.

“I was just in shock,” Jacobson told the Daily Signal, “I asked myself ‘Did I just get shot? Did he just shoot me?’”

Jacobson then drove herself to a local police station to seek help. She was quickly rushed by ambulance to Grand Rapids Hospital.  

Jacobson has expressed that she believes the shooting was on purpose

“I do think [Harvey] knew what he was doing,” she said. “I think it was intentional.”

Jacobson also disagreed with Harvey’s claim that she had harassed his wife, saying the only time she raised her voice was when she was walking away from the house and said, “Stop following me.” 

David Kallman, Jacobson’s attorney with the Great Lakes Justice Center, released the following statement

“There was no justification for shooting Ms. Jacobson. Mr. Harvey admitted firing a warning shot, so he knew the gun was loaded when he pointed it at my client. If it was truly an accident, why did neither of the Harveys express any remorse or even offer to assist Ms. Jacobson or call 911 immediately after shooting her? The answer is obvious: it was not an accident and Mr. Harvey should be held accountable.”

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