93-Year-Old Texas Woman Gunned Down By Police Officer
A 93-year-old woman was gunned down by police responding to a 911 call at her home Tuesday (May 6) night. Pearlie Golden of the small town of Hearn, Texas “brandished” a gun according to a police statement, and was subsequently shot by one of the responding officers.
Officer Stephen Stem has been placed on paid administrative leave until the investigation into Golden’s death is complete. She is the second person he has shot dead since 2012, when he joined the Hearne Police Department.
“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.”
Golden’s nephew placed the 911 call. She was upset that the state wouldn’t renew her driver’s license and pulled out the gun when the nephew tried to take her keys away.
Stem and another officer showed up to the house where the elderly woman fired two shots into the ground. Stem told Golden to drop her weapon twice before firing three shots at her.
Golden was affectionately known as “Miss Sully” in the neighborhood. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Preliminary autopsy results show that she was hit with two of the bullets and grazed by the third.
Some residents of the town see Golden’s death as the final straw in an ongoing discrepancy with police. Community members held a demonstration Thursday (May 8) demanding justice. “We can’t bring Ms. Golden back, but we can turn a tragic murder into a positive message to Hearne police — ‘We won’t stand for it any longer,’” said Hearne native Dewayne Jones.
Mayor Ruben Gomez told demonstrators that he will recommend that Stem be fired. “It’s a loss of confidence in the community. We can’t have an officer the citizens have lost confidence in,” he told the crowd.
Nearly two years ago, Stem was cleared for gunning down a man who was shooting from a car in an apartment complex parking lot.