National

Told he was a target, Mich. man leaves town

OWOSSO, Mich. — A real estate agent, who was told he was the third target of a shooting spree that left an abortion protester and a business owner dead, said Saturday he fled his home after the violence that claimed two lives in their small Michigan city.

The man charged with the killings, Harlan James Drake, was taken from jail to a hospital to undergo surgery for a self-inflicted wound to his arm, according to a county prosecutor.

James Howe of Owosso said his family was upset after police told him he was an intended target of the Friday shooting spree. He hesitated when asked how he was dealing with the allegations.

"How would you hold up if someone was told you were going to be killed?" said Howe. He declined to say where he and his family were staying.

Howe also declined to discuss or say whether he knew Drake, 33, who is accused of shooting anti-abortion activist James Pouillon and gravel pit owner Mike Fuoss. Authorities said that when he was arrested, Drake told police he also intended to kill Howe.

Drake was taken from the county jail to a hospital Saturday after cutting his arm near the wrist, Shiawassee County Prosecutor Randy Colbry said. He said he did not know exactly when Drake cut himself or what he used to do so.

"It sounds like he's going to make it, but it's a serious gash, a very serious wound to his arm," Colbry said.

Drake was arraigned Friday without an attorney on first-degree murder charges and ordered held without bond.

Police said little about what might have led Drake — a truck driver who mostly lived on the road in his cab and had family in the area — to kill, other than that he had a grudge against Fuoss and Howe and didn't like Pouillon's graphic anti-abortion signs.

Pouillon, 63, was a polarizing figure in Owosso, a town of 15,000 best known as the birthplace of 1948 Republican presidential candidate Thomas Dewey. He could usually be seen with his anti-abortion signs outside schools, the library, city hall, even football games.

On Friday morning, Pouillon was in his usual place across the street from the high school, holding a sign that pictured a chubby-cheeked baby with the word "LIFE" on one side and an image of an aborted fetus with the word "ABORTION" on the other. Authorities allege Drake pulled up to him in a truck and opened fire.

Flowers marked the spot Saturday where Pouillon was shot. A note said, "May you rest now."

Drake and Fuoss apparently knew each other, but authorities didn't detail what might have led to Fuoss's slaying.

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