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Pro-life volunteer recovering after being shot while passing out pamphlets in Ionia Co.

"No one should be threatened like this or shot at or potentially killed for exercising their freedom of speech," said Anna Visser with Right to Life of Michigan.

LAKE ODESSA, Mich. — Michigan State Police are investigating the shooting of an 83-year-old pro-life volunteer in Ionia County.

The shooting happened nearly a week ago on Tuesday, Sept. 20 outside a home on Bippley Road.

According to Anna Visser, the Director of Communications and Education with Right to Life Of Michigan, the volunteer is in good spirits after being shot in the back shoulder, and wants to remain anonymous while the criminal investigation continues. 

"Obviously, no one should be threatened like this or shot at or potentially killed for exercising their freedom of speech," said Visser. 

The volunteer was going door-to-door on Bippley Road in Lake Odessa passing out materials about Proposal 3, which is the abortion ballot initiative and was encouraging people to vote 'No.'

"One of the ladies that lived at the house got upset and started screaming at her," said Visser. "This volunteer walked away, was walking back to her car, and a man from the house came out and shot her in the back."

The woman drove herself to the Lake Odessa Police Department to report the shooting and then was driven to the hospital, where she was later released.

Dispatch audio reportedly shows the homeowner called 911 after the shot was fired.

"Lady on her property that won't leave. No idea who she is. She drove on her grass. Wants her to sign some type of petition. Now it sounds like the caller's husband shot at her and nicked her with a bullet and she's bleeding. We'll be starting medical," stated the dispatch operator. 

Visser says the volunteer was not threatening the homeowner, nor did she have a weapon.

"No one should be shot at for just sharing what they believe in and just trying to educate the community. Luckily this won't deter us from continuing to educate people on Proposal 3 and why it's so dangerous. We'll continue to have our volunteers go out safely and peacefully."

Police haven't confirmed if the homeowner's husband was triggered over the volunteer's pro-life beliefs or if it was because the volunteer wouldn't leave his property.

"I can try to do some research and see if there's like a group for this. This is over politics," stated the dispatcher. 

Michigan State Police continues to investigate.

Kyle Butler, the Prosecuting Attorney of Ionia County, says all parties involved have been interviewed and the firearm has been seized.

As of Monday, Sept. 26, a warrant request has not yet been submitted to Butler's office.


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