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Texas police shoot 93-year-old woman at her home

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Police Shooting

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(CNN) — Texas Rangers are investigating why police in a small central Texas town fatally shot a 93-year-old woman at her home.

Pearlie Golden, a longtime resident of Hearne, a town of approximately 4,600 people about 150 miles south of Dallas, was shot multiple times Tuesday.

A man believed to be a relative of Golden’s made the 911 call asking for help from police, Robertson County District Attorney Coty Siegert said.

“What I understand is (Hearne police) were called out because a woman was brandishing a firearm,” Siegert said. “An officer asked her to put the handgun down, and when she would not, shots were fired.”

Hearne City Attorney Bryan Russ Jr. said Officer Stephen Stem told Golden to drop her weapon at least three times.

Stem fired three times, and Golden was hit at least twice, he said.

She was transported to a local hospital, where she died.

The Hearne Police Department placed Stem on administrative leave pending the inquiry.

“We’re very saddened by this. Everybody in the city government is deeply disappointed that this lady was killed,” Russ said. “Now, the investigation is out of our hands. It’s under the Texas Rangers, which is where we want it to be.”

According to police, the Texas Rangers have a revolver believed to have been in Golden’s possession at the time of the shooting.

Community members told CNN affiliate KBTX that Golden, known affectionately as “Ms. Sully,” was a sweet woman.

“Even if she did have a gun, she is in her 90s,” Lawanda Cooke told KBTX. “They could have shot in the air to scare her. Maybe she would have dropped it. I don’t see her shooting anyone.”

The case will eventually be presented to a grand jury, which is standard procedure when dealing with officer-involved incidents, Russ said.

In the meantime, Hearne City Council members will meet Saturday to discuss Stem’s employment or whether any disciplinary action will be taken.

“I would expect people to be upset about this, a young police officer shooting a 93-year-old lady,” Russ said. “I’m upset about it. Most of our citizens are upset but at the same time I don’t believe all the facts have come to the surface yet.”

By Vivian Kuo

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15 comments

  • Terry Roberts

    are officers that gun happy that they have to pull the trigger 3 times? why couldn’t they go out of site at first and negotiate more? Wouldn’t she let the other person out? Too many officer pulling the trigger when they don’t need to!!! They think they are God and if you don’t obey them they fire.

  • Sparky

    Of course I wasn’t there so I won’t ASSUME to know the whole story like a lot of folks do now days but is an officer just supposed to let an armed person shoot him because she is an elderly lady?

    Sad story for sure but maybe, just maybe there was no other way to handle the situation other than being dead, who knows?

  • Tom Griffin

    93 or 9 years old. Was the officer to die at the hands of a person pointing a gun at them ? They are trained to look at the gun, Not who is holding it. You read about it all the time. 4 year old shoots 3 year old brother. There is NO age limit on how old you need to be to pull the trigger. I’m very sorry it was a older person who had to die. Better than the officer having to die trying to get the gun from someone who most likely didn’t even know they had it in the first place. In her mind she might have thought she was holding a flower. NO 1 KNOWS for sure. Don’t blame the officer. It was his call to make and I’m sure he hurts for taking a life. Old Or Young.

    • Wayne

      Finally someone who makes sense here… A lot of keyboard tough guys on here that have no clue what happened. I don’t care what age you are, if you are pointing a deadly weapon at me and don’t put it down the result will be the same. 17 year old punk off the street or 90 some year old person, a bullet will do the exact same thing when fired from a gun.

      • Brandon Price

        Where did it say she pointed the gun at him?? All I read was he asked her to drop the gun 3 times…..not that she was pointing it at him. And shot at a 93 year old 3 times hitting her 2x’s?? come on man!! Sounds to me that someone was a little trigger happy……and it wasn’t the 93 year old.

  • shaytay

    She might have had a gun and he was feeling threatened but shoot her in the fit or sumthin not somewhere it’s gonna kill her how do u know she didn’t have Alzheimer’s or something she could have thought she was being attacked or sumthin u never know the officer was right to protect himself but wrong for shooting 3 times. And shooting to kill I’m sry but he was in the wrong for shooting to kill instead of juss shooting to make her scared or shooting her somewhere it ain’t gonna kill her.

  • Diana

    Even if this woman had a weapon, which I truly question. It was not necessary to shoot to kill.I have very little faith or respect for police officers anymore. This guy should not remain on the force!

  • Jim Smith

    I know nothing about this incident and speak only in general terms.

    1. Officers do not shoot to kill. I am an officer and over the last 15 years I have never been trained or read a single article about shooting to kill. We shoot to stop the threat.

    2. Officers shoot until the threatening behavior stops. Every single shot is a seperate use of force and must be justified. Two shots might be too many or fifty might be too few. The suspects age, sex, size, race have nothing to do with what is appropriate.

    3. Expecting an officer to be able to hit a hand or foot sized target while in fear of their life is like betting your life on winning the lottery. Twice. It is not going to happen.

    4. Even if an officer can hit a foot or hand while under stress, bullets are not magic. Shooting someone in the foot or hand is not going to stop them. There are no large muscles or bones to affect and most people shot in an extremety don’t even know it until later.

    5. While we all wish we could release all facts immediatly and have instant answers, that isn’t how it works. The only thing cop shows on TV get right is that there is always key information kept under wraps.

    6. I would like to say that I wouldn’t shoot a 93 year old woman. However, I will say that I am going to go home to my family. 9 years old or 109 if my life or the life of an innocent person is on the line I will do what I have to.

  • Tracy Sanders

    You can bet a 70’s or earlier trained officer would not have shot, and would not need a swat team on every traffic stop like the bullies of today do. But not to worry if you find this acceptable behavior then you are indoctrinated already.

  • USMC69

    Too many unanswered questions here. Who called 911? Was the lady in her own home? Why did the officer assume the person with a gun is the bad guy? Maybe someone was threatening her and she was afraid for her life. If the caller was a beneficiary in the lady’s will, maybe this was murder-by-cop. “Brandishing a gun” is just just liberal speak to make the exercise of your 2A rights, illegal. We have seen in Texas that it’s used to justify whatever the police officer wants to do. Maybe before the police enter private property, they need to “reassess” their reason for being…and “brandishing a gun” in one’s home should not be a crime.