Elderly Michigan Man Shoots 83-Year-Old Anti-Abortion Activist, Says It Was an 'Accident'

anti-abortion shooting
Michigan State Police are investigating the shooting.Getty/Stock

A 74-year-old Michigan man says he accidentally shot an 83-year-old anti-abortion activist on his property.

A 74-year-old Michigan man says he accidentally shot an 83-year-old anti-abortion activist who had argued with his wife and refused to leave their property.

Richard Harvey said the shooting occurred after he heard his wife and the woman arguing, with his wife telling the woman to get off their property.

“I came out and she is screaming and having a great old time, and (she is) being told, I’m sure I heard at least a dozen times, ‘You’re trespassing, get off the property,'” Harvey said Tuesday in an on-camera interview with WOOD-TV as he recounted his wife's comments to the woman.

Harvey said he fired a warning shot with his rifle, striking a tree. 

Harvey said the woman, who was distributing anti-abortion pamphlets, wouldn't leave his yard.

“She is still ranting and raving and she’s got this clipboard. 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 here,” he said, pointing to his shoulder.

The woman drove herself to a nearby police department, and was taken to a hospital where she was treated and released, authorities said. 

Harvey's wife, Sharon, and the unidentified woman had argued over abortion rights, Sharon Harvey told the station. The woman was passing out fliers for Right to Life, urging people to vote against Proposal 3, a November ballot measure that would guarantee abortion rights in the state.

Sharon Harvey said she supports abortion rights and told the woman to leave, which led to an argument with raised voices. Her husband came out with a rifle, the wife told the station.

“She’s doing OK and is recovering from the wound,” said Anna Visser, director of communication and education for Right to Life of Michigan, which opposes the measure, reported MichiganLive.

The shooting, which occurred on Sept. 20, is being investigated by Michigan State Police. No charges have been filed.

"Because this is an on-going investigation, I cannot comment on any of the evidentiary elements involved. Once the investigation has been completed, it will be forwarded to the prosecutor for review," police spokeswoman Lt. Lt. Michelle Robinson told Inside Edition Digital on Wednesday.

Ionia County Prosecutor Kyle Butler said in a statement that he will make a decision whether to file charges after he reviews the findings of the Michigan State Police.

The Michigan Right to Life spokeswoman claims their volunteer had been polite, and was walking to her car when she was shot.

Harvey told the news station he realized he could face charges.

“It’s always possible. I shot somebody. It was an accident,” he said.

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