Michigan

Man kills two, is arrested before he can kill third for upsetting mother

September 11, 2009
Owosso, Michigan
Harlan James Drake shoots two men to death for upsetting his mother during unrelated incidents

Drake’s first victim was 63-year-old James Pouillon, an anti-abortion activist who had been protesting abortion since 1988. He carried a sign with graphic images of an aborted fetus, demonstrating outside the local high school. The graphic imagery — and the decision to show such an image in front of a school — caused a stir among the locals, including his mother; the day before the shootings, she mentioned the sign had upset her. He vowed to himself he would “take care of that tomorrow.”

Drake claimed he drove by the school on the morning of September 11 with the hopes that Pouillon would not be protesting that day “so that [he] wouldn’t have to shoot [Pouillon].” Upon seeing Pouillon, Drake fired from his vehicle, killing him. Drake’s next thought was, if he had already killed one person he “might as well shoot anybody else” he had issues with. He drove to a gravel business and killed owner Michael Fuoss, shooting him over a dozen times leaving his body unrecognizable. Drake’s mother had worked for Fuoss in the past and, according to Drake, had treated her poorly.

Drake was arrested before he was able to kill a third target, another man who had previously employed Drake’s mother, real estate agent James Howe.

In 2010, Drake was convicted of murder and sentenced to two life sentences.

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