Man charged with assault for shooting pro-life volunteer: ‘He wanted to hurt me’

UPDATE, 10/17/22: Michael Knowles of the Daily Wire recently interviewed Joan Jacobson about her harrowing experience of being shot while serving as a pro-life canvasser:

10/1/22: The 84-year-old woman who was shot while distributing pro-life literature in Michigan has come forward to not only shed light on what happened to her, but to also refute claims from the man who shot her that it accidental.

Joan Jacobson has begun speaking with numerous media outlets after Richard Harvey, the shooter, and his wife Sharon spoke out publicly about the assault. Harvey told WOOD-TV8 that he didn’t mean to shoot her, and that Jacobson was being loud, angry, and threatening, and refused to leave their property when asked.

None of that is true, Jacobson has said — and authorities agree.

Prosecutors charged Harvey with one count each of assault with felonious assault, careless discharge of a gun causing injury, and reckless use of a firearm. The assault with felonious assault charge is the most serious, with a potential sentence of up to four years in prison if he is convicted.

A judge arraigned Harvey on Friday, and his bail is currently set at $10,000.

Harvey claimed Jacobson was waving her clipboard around, and that he feared she would hit his wife, Sharon, with it. “I never waved my clipboard,” she told the Detroit News. “I didn’t want to hurt her or him.”

In another interview with the Daily Signal, she said that she was trying to leave the Harvey property, but that they followed her, even as she told them to stop. It was then that she was shot.

“When that registered in my mind, I heard a shot, I felt some pain, and I thought he had hit me in the back,” she said. “I was just in shock. I said to myself, ‘Did I just get shot? Did he just shoot me?’ They didn’t say anything. I didn’t say anything. I just headed back to my car and tried to ascertain if I could drive … I didn’t feel lightheaded or like I was going to pass out or anything. I thought, ‘I gotta get out of here.’”

READ: The media’s glaring failure to report pro-abortion violence

As Jacobson tried to flee, she said she feared her life was still in danger. “I got into the car and they were standing by the sidewalk, I looked through the car window, and I had a thought that went through my mind, I thought, ‘This guy is going to shoot me again through the window of the car!’” she explained. “He didn’t, and I was able to get the car started, get into gear, get on the road.”

At the hospital, it was determined that the bullet narrowly missed her spine. Neither of the Harveys called police or tried to get emergency assistance, nor did they try to help after the allegedly accidental shooting, even though Sharon Harvey reportedly had her cell phone in her hand.

Jacobson also does not believe Harvey’s claims that the shooting was an accident. “I do think that he knew what he was doing,” she said. “I think it was intentional.”

Today, Harvey still has not been charged with any crime, something Jacobson does not understand.

“I do think he should be charged with something,” she said. “I don’t think that people should feel like they can’t go and talk to their neighbors without feeling like they’re going to get shot at. Whatever the law says for somebody who intentionally is shooting at somebody. I know a lot of my friends are telling me that they think he meant to kill me. I’m not going to go that far. I don’t know. I just think he wanted to hurt me.”

David Kallman, an attorney with the Great Lakes Justice Center, is representing Jacobson, and likewise denied this was an accident.

“There was no justification for shooting Ms. Jacobson,” he said in a statement. “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 Harvey’s 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.”

Right to Life Michigan also released another statement highlighting the flood of violent, pro-abortion rhetoric shared on Sharon Harvey’s social media pages.

“What could have stayed a heated political discussion that ended peacefully and was totally forgotten years down the road by these ladies instead culminated with pulling a gun on a small, elderly woman and shooting her. This recklessly irresponsible rhetoric must end, and it must end now before more people are harmed,” Right to Life Michigan concluded, adding, “Governor Whitmer has so far been silent about the shooting and attacks on pregnancy centers. If Governor Whitmer cannot condemn this ongoing campaign of violence or the climate of violent rhetoric she contributes to daily, she should resign in shame as the leader of our state. Enough is enough.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated since its original publication.

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