HEARNE, Texas (AP) — The mayor of a small Texas town where a 93-year-old was shot by police says he will recommend that the officer be fired.
Hearne Mayor Ruben Gomez said Thursday the community has lost confidence after Pearlie Golden was shot this week at her home. Authorities say Officer Stephen Stem was responding to a 911 call about a disturbance involving a woman and a gun.
Hearne police have said Golden “brandished a gun” Tuesday night when Stem encountered her. The officer fired multiple times.
Golden, a longtime resident of Hearne was affectionately known to her neighbors as Ms. Sully.
The Hearne Police Department said in a written statement that a revolver believed to be the weapon Golden had at the time of the shooting was found at the scene by officers. She was taken to a hospital in nearby Bryan where she died from the injuries.
The investigation is being handled by the Texas Rangers.
“She did have a gun. … Now, what she was doing with it, that is the ultimate question,” said Siegert.
City attorney Bryan Russ Jr. said the officer has been put on paid administrative leave as is standard protocol when an officer is involved in a shooting. “What we believe is that she was instructed to drop the weapon, that is my understanding,” Russ said.
He could not comment any further because the investigation is ongoing.
Longtime residents and some activists from nearby Houston protested outside Hearne’s small police headquarters. Retired teacher William Foster says there’s disbelief that an officer could shoot a woman in her 90s under any circumstance.
Residents say Golden lived alone in the town of about 4,500 people.