A Michigan man who says he shot an elderly pro-life volunteer last week has spoken out about the incident, saying it was an "accident" following the volunteer allegedly getting into a heated back-and-forth over abortion.
"I came out and she [the unidentified pro-life volunteer] is screaming and having a great old time, and being told … at least a dozen times, ‘You’re trespassing, get off the property,'" 74-year-old Richard Harvey, told News 8 on Tuesday.
An unidentified 83-year-old woman was canvassing the neighborhood near Lake Odessa in Ionia County on Sept. 20 for Right to Life of Michigan to discuss the state’s vote on Proposal 3. The upcoming ballot measure would protect abortion access in the state.
The Right to Life of Michigan first sounded the alarm on the shooting over the weekend, saying in a press release that the "victim said that she was shot in the back/shoulder while leaving a residence during a heated conversation, and that the man who shot her was not a part of her conversation."
The unidentified pro-life canvasser was able to drive herself to a local police station despite being "dazed" by the shooting "fearing she would be shot again by Mr. Harvey," according to a Right to Life of Michigan press release. She is now recovering from the injury.
Harvey and his wife, Sharon Harvey, spoke to the media for the first time on Tuesday and said the shooting was an "accident," arguing that the pro-life canvasser had gotten into a "screaming" match with Sharon Harvey over abortion.
Sharon Harvey recounted that she heard a knock on the door on Sept. 20 and was greeted by a woman who was "from some coalition to save women and babies."
"She needed me to vote no on Proposal 3," Sharon Harvey told News 8. She told the pro-life volunteer that she would not oppose Proposal 3 as she had a four-and-a-half month tubal pregnancy in 1971 that required surgery and nearly killed her.
"She would not take the fact that I was going to vote yes on Proposal 3 as an answer," Sharon Harvey said. "She didn’t care. She didn’t care. I told her, I says, ‘Women are going to die. I nearly died.’ She says, ‘Well you didn’t, did you?'"
Sharon Harvey said she told the pro-life volunteer to leave her property at least a dozen times before the canvasser stepped off of the front porch.
Meanwhile, Richard Harvey was in a barn on the property when he heard "screaming" from the house. He said he grabbed his wife’s .22-caliber rifle and fired a warning shot.
"She [the volunteer] 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 right shoulder, according to News 8.
"I shot somebody. It was an accident," Richard Harvey told the outlet, noting "it’s always possible" he will be charged.
The Right to Life of Michigan added that "no one should fear violence while peacefully exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech."
"This 84-year old woman is hardly imposing, standing about 5-feet tall," the press release continued. "The idea that shooting this woman is at all excusable is a dangerous claim for Americans across the country who engage in peaceful door-to-door canvassing," Right to Life of Michigan communications director Anna Visser said in the press release.
The Right to Life of Michigan added that a Facebook account that reportedly belongs to Sharon Harvey has numerous anti-Trump and pro-choice posts.
"While Mr. and Mrs. Harvey publicly claim the shooting was an ‘accident,’ Sharon Harvey’s public social media posts raise questions about the motive. Mrs. Harvey’s Facebook page reveals very strong opinions on abortion, the issue the volunteer was canvassing about, and vitriol for pro-lifers and anyone who disagrees with her. Her extensive history of demonstrated hatred for people who disagree with her draws her account into question," the press release stated.
Fox News Digital attempted to reach out to Richard and Sharon Harvey via email and on the Facebook account that reportedly belongs to Sharon Harvey, but did not immediately receive a response.
The incident comes just months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which ended the recognition of a constitutional right to abortion.
Despite the shooting, other volunteers have continued canvassing in Michigan to encourage residents to vote no on Proposal 3 in November.
"We’re glad the victim is recovering, and our volunteers will continue knocking doors on Proposal 3," Right to Life of Michigan official Chris Gast told Fox News Digital on Saturday.
The Michigan State Police is investigating the incident. A police spokesperson told Fox News Digital on Saturday that the elderly woman was shot after a "verbal altercation while she was passing out pamphlets."
The investigation remains ongoing and police did not have an update on the case as of Wednesday.