Texas police shoot woman, 93

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By Vivian Kuo


(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, 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.”

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  • Bob

    In this particular case I would question why the police didn’t handle the situation in a manner that didn’t result in this woman’s death.

    • Jeff

      Age should absolutely be a factor.


      The police should not shoot first and ask questions later.

    • Mikje

      She would not fire at all, if the clown got out of her house. He should have walked this situation WAY BACK and let it de-escalate. Get a neighbor, or family member on site. Our entire law enforcement philosophy has degraded to the point where cops behave as a military force, and citizens are reduced to insurgent status. We need more Sheriff Taylor’s.

    • Mikje

      Phooey . . . a weak old woman was gunned down in her own home. THAT is the only fact that matters. That cop should have backed off, and de escalated before it got to this point.

  • Chris

    Police investgating police. Ya thats pretty fair. Can tell right now how this one will play out.

    • Bob

      Chris, would you feel comfortable having a bus driver investigate an airplane accident, or a school teacher investigate a medical malpractice case?

      And no, you can’t tell how the police internal affairs division will rule on this case.

    • Bob

      Oh, and by the way chris, it isn’t the police investigating this case. It is the Texas Rangers and their reputation is impeccable. If this shooting wasn’t justified, and that may well be the case, it will be in their report.

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