*UPDATE: Officials say the shooter was offended by Pouillon's message and signs.*
From all over the country, scores of comments flooded in within hours of the story breaking. The story was viewed more than 100,000 times on connectmidmichigan.com in the morning and afternoon. Most of the comments revolve around the abortion issue.
Judith Climer, the director for the Flint Area Right to Life, tells NBC25 news "He was sitting right there in that chair when he said to me "I'm willing to die for what i believe in." That's what Judith Climer believes he did. She says, "This is not a man who would walk up to you and get in your face and say 'You're a murderer.' It's not that. He's a very gentle man who just is his statement." She says, that statement was that Jesus loves you and that he has a plan for your life and the unborn.
Cal Zastrow, from Personhood USA says, "Jim Pouillon was an honorable Christian man that was never violent. He never threatened anyone, never done violence. He was an honorable, peaceful man who spoke out against dehumanizing and murdering of preborn children."
While pro-life advocates are hailing Pouillon as a martyr for the pro-life movement, pro-choice advocates say, it's too early to tell.
Lori Lamerand, from Planned Parenthood East and Central Michigan, says "We are saddened by the deaths that happened in Owosso today, but I think it behooves us all to realize that there were two fatalities this morning evidently at the hand of the same man. The second man apparently had no connection with abortion in any way. While assumptions are coming out that Mr. Pouillon was gunned down relating to his abortion views, we don't know that with no confirmation from police officers."
On any given day, Jim would be standing in front of the Feminine Health Care Clinic on Saginaw Street in Flint encouraging people not to get an abortion. In fact, he would have been there the day he died, but he wanted to start his message in Owosso. Climer says, "He stood up for something, and he paid a price."
Zastrow says, "This will energize and mobilize more pro-life people to stop the violence."
Abortions in the Flint area have gone down for the last six years. Jim's friends say, that's due in part to his work.