Texas police officer defends shooting a 93-year-old woman

Officer Stephen Stem fatally shot 93-year-old Pearlie Golden at her Texas home.

Officer Stephen Stem fatally shot 93-year-old Pearlie Golden at her Texas home.

TEXAS — A police officer who fatally shot a 93-year-old woman at her home in Texas is defending his use of deadly force and lashing out at the City Council that fired him.

Stephen Stem was dismissed from the Hearne Police Department on Saturday. He argues his termination was unjust.

“The knee-jerk reaction to terminate Mr. Stem was not about whether Ms. Golden chose to create and perpetuate a life-threatening situation. That is a clear and indisputable fact.

“Rather, the city’s decision was about appeasing certain members of the community who want to make this case about Ms. Golden’s age, the fact she is African-American, or the fact she is a woman.

“None of those factors played a role in Stem’s decision to use deadly force,” Robert McCabe, Stem’s attorney, said in a statement Sunday.

His comments come as Texas Rangers continue an investigation into why Pearlie Golden, a longtime resident in this small town of about 4,600 people between Dallas and Houston, was shot multiple times at her home Tuesday.

A man believed to be a relative of Golden’s made a 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 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 hospital, where she died.

“Police not only have a duty to protect themselves from imminent harm, but also innocent citizens who rely on them ‘to protect and serve,’ ” Stem’s attorney said in his statement.

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

“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.”

17 comments

  • truth-hurts

    A 93 year old can not move that fast.
    I think I could stay away from her long enough to reason with her.
    No excuse for shooting her.

    • Toni

      She doesn’t have to move that fast – her ammo does. I don’t own a gun, I don’t support gun laws, and I don’t like cops. However, this woman had a gun and was enough of a threat that someone called 911 for help, the cop came and she wouldn’t give up her gun. It doesn’t matter that she’s old, or a woman, or an African American. Her gun wasn’t aware of any of those factors. And neither would her bullet have been.

  • FaithC

    If she had a gun, this officer had no idea if she was going to shoot him or not. When he told her to put it down, she should have. She knew what could happen.
    What does everybody want him to do, wait until she shoots him and then he can be a fallen hero.

    • joe

      That’s exactly what these liberals wanted him to do. Their good at sitting in the comfort of thier homes sipping wine and Monday morning quarterbacking the police. If this 93 year old was not a threat, why did her grandson call 911 when she took a couple of shots at him? Liberals do not want law abiding Americans defending themselves.

      • Toni

        I’m very – extremely – liberal and I hate guns, but this has nothing to do with any of that. It has to do with the integrity of our 911 system. Someone at that address called for help and the police arrived, the rest is textbook procedure.

  • Tonya

    This lady was apparently dangerous and scaring someone to have. 911 called on her. It is a shame that our police officers can’t do their jobs because someone has always got to cry discrimination for whatever reason whether it be race, religion, or age. Young people and old alike have been found guilty of murder. There is no age criteria that says a 9 year old or a 90 year old can’t kill someone.

  • Donna

    I agree the officer had a job to do and at her age she made not have moved fast enough for him, but at any age do you need to shot to kill? What an awful way to died, after living a long life. We need to ask ..do the police have the capability to diminish situation of this type magnitude. In this case or any case we need a better way that will protect both parties.

  • R

    Its not just about this case that got him terminated, he was involved in another shooting with last year. Two kills in two years, raises questions, regardless of who you are…or the circumstances involved….

    • lIZ m

      R, where in the article does it say he was involved in a shooting last year?
      The officer made the right choice. If people “play”, no matter what the age is or who or what you are…your going to pay.

      • R

        It does not say it in this article, Fox8 likes to leave things out, that is why 99% of the time you have to go to another source for more, if not all of the story. Google his name, he is all over the net.

  • Larry O.

    Where is the due process here? Did this officer have a hearing? Let’s hold our opinions about this until all the facts are heard in court. Amazing how people make quick decisions based on what the media says.

    • its my business

      Ha! One way of getting out of Jury duty. I hope when the “facts” are unfolded, then the family and friends can accept it. My prayers are fo them right now. So sad!!!

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