Police shoot, kill 93-year-old woman in Texas

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HEARNE, Texas — 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, Texas, a town of approximately 4,600 people situated about 150 miles south of Dallas, was shot multiple times Tuesday.

“What I understand is (Hearne police) were called out because a woman was brandishing a firearm,” Robertson County District Attorney Coty 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 Steven Stem told Golden to drop her weapon at least three times.

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

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.”

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.”

47 comments

    • B

      When the police command you to put the gun down then put the gun down and you wont get shot. This was a suicide by cop.

    • Lisa

      James try reading again rangers are investigating.officer from Hearne was the one that shot her and has been placed on leave accidents happen. Yes I work in law enforcement.and were was this lady’s family members? 93 and has access to a hand gun .what just because she is 93 you dont think they will shot ? Hmm you cant be that stupid but then again nothing surprises me anymore with people and before you or someone else comments on my spelling my day is over after working 14 hours and I do not have my contacts in. So have a nice night and stop being rude or at least get your facts right before you comment

  • Larry haney

    he needs to have his butt in a prison while awaiting trial, but there r twos sides to every story but unfortunately one will be heard but only god knows the truth,and who knows just maybe she was deaf of could hardly hear at that age

  • Rancho mungus mingus

    SO…ITS OK FOR POLICE TO KILL UNARMED TEENAGERS …BUT NANAMAW GRANNY WITH A NINEMILLY IS SUPPOSED TO GET A PASS?????

  • Enreico

    they could have shot her with a bean bag or rubber pellet! i have no respect for alot of the authorities nowadays!!!!

    • B

      Apparently the cops don’t respect idiots that carry guns and don’t follow commands. What was she doing with the gun in the first place?

  • lIZ m

    Are you people serious or stupid? She is a US citizen just like the rest of us no matter what the age.

  • R

    i like how the article fails to mention that stem was also involved in a shooting resulting in death last January 3 2013….

    • Angel

      Yes, he was involved in another shooting but that was a totally different set of circumstances. I’m sure there are alot of situations where officers have been involved in more than one shooting incident in their career!

      • R

        “This is the second officer-involved shooting Officer Stem has been involved in during his two-year career with the Hearne PD …The prior shooting occurred on the last day of 2012 when Officer Stem was involved in the fatal shooting of Tederalle Satchell … Stem was responding to another call of a person with a gun. He was later cleared in the shooting and returned to duty.”

        Ummm, seems like similar circumstances, and most LEO’s will go thru their career never shooting anyone at all….

  • Teri

    She was 93 for goodness sake… she probably didn’t even hear them tell her to put the gun down! So sad!!

    • RCC

      That’s what I was thinking to. Watch, it’ll come out that she didn’t have her hearing aids in or something to that effect.

  • JaslynHeart

    No special treatment for anyone, young or old. Ordered to put the gun down multiple times you are responsible for getting shot. Stop using emotions toward the elderly for this incident.

    • KBH

      You’re kidding right? If this was your mother with a hearing issue would you be saying this? How about waiting for her to exhibit a “hostile intent” before engagement like the military is required to? Police shouldn’t get a free pass to shoot without it – there are many other options.

      • Mark Stabler

        No one should jump to any conclusion. Maybe she pointed the gun at the Officer. When you are facing an individual with a gun, whether they are 14 or 94, and they fail to comply with your request to drop the firearm, waiting to act may very well result in your death. Yes, a full investigation needs to be conducted. They received a call advising that she was brandishing a weapon…no matter what her age she apparently alarmed someone that called. No matter what the person’s age…if they shoot and kill you…you’re dead. Decisions have to be made in a split second. Hindsight and armchair quarterbacks have the rest of their lives to tell you how you should have done your job. If you were facing a woman brandishing a pistol, who refused to drop the gun…what exactly would you do..if your life was on the line.

  • Angel

    No one has all the facts yet. And her age should NOT BE A FACTOR, as to whether they should or should not have used deadly force. If this was a 20 -30 something year old male… people would not be so quick to say HOW TERRIBLE!! A woman in her 90’s can be just as dangerous a a younger person!! Also it is easy for others to cast judgement when you have NEVER BEEN in this type of potential life threathing situation…. ON EITHER SIDE!!!!

  • mimilll

    Perhaps she could NOT HEAR*****at her age anything is possible….I guess NO ONE IS SAFE ANY MORE…EVEN IN THEIR OWN HOME.

  • william

    Hope they rool up on me I’m 59 so I’m just start fuckin shooting before they fo to hell with pigs..

  • Angie

    Taser,beanbag,rubber bullet? Hearing, dementia , fear? Different strokes for different folks! Maybe a discussion was in order here.
    What happens if a 3 year old is in the yard with a gun he found and doesn’t put it down when ordered? Gonna gun him down too?

  • mike

    everyone is missing one key detail here…. she was at HOME… on her property, they had no right what so ever…she is entitled to bear arms on her property… she could have been protecting herself. she doesn’t have to comply with the police ordering her to drop it on her private property. they had zero rights to shoot her. if she fired a round then they would have been justified… but brandishing a firearm on your property is not a crime… she may have felt threatened by them and now we can see why, a rogue cop shoots her at home. she was protecting herself.. she should have shot the officer that shot her….

  • Del Lynn

    With the shooting a 93-year-old woman by a “peace officer,” Texas can now proudly claim that it has found a cure for dementia. It’s called the LEAD treatment administered by law enforcement. I guess Sarah Palin was right. There ARE government death panels for the elderly. Oh, not from what Governor Parry calls the socialistic Obamacare program, but from brave Texas government employees with shaky trigger fingers and mush for brains.

  • JH

    Dementia could have been the case. She could have thought that the police were robbers and trying to offend her. My great grandmother is 93 also And gets self defensive when I come to see her. A 93 year old also had hearing problems and Alzheimer’s . I mean, if they had alzheimer’s they could have forgotten what the police were!! This case could have been prevented if the Man who shot her knew if she had disabilities… Smh.

  • roberts

    What ever happened to the two Houston cops that killed a guy in a wheelchair, having only one arm and one leg and brandishing a ball point pen. Of coarse the cops, wearing body armor, having a sidearm, tazars, jacks, mase, probably a backup pistol and a throwdown, were very threatened by a ballpoint pen, must have been an assault pen.

  • wrecks

    Guys listen. I used to be a police officer. Constable to be exact. 1st of all the lady was 93. 2nd, you treat her like she’s a 3yr old. If wwe’re blessed we all will have two childhoods. I probably would not have used a teaser either. I believe a close relative could have retrieved the gun from her. Pellet gun could have done the trick. Let’s all stop being cruel. She’s 93.

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