Texas police officer who killed 93-year-old woman fired

Sat May 10, 2014 7:03pm EDT

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(Reuters) - A police officer who shot and killed a 93-year-old woman as she brandished a firearm in a small Texas town was fired on Saturday, a police official said.

Officer Stephen Stem fatally shot Pearlie Golden in Hearne, Texas, on Tuesday after responding to an emergency call about a woman with a gun, the Robertson County District Attorney's Office said earlier this week.

According to the district attorney's statement, Stem asked Golden to put down the weapon and then fired upon her. The Texas Rangers were sent to investigate the incident in Hearne, a town of about 4,500 residents located some 90 miles northeast of Austin.

The same officer was placed on leave about a year ago for shooting dead a suspect when responding to a call of an unruly crowd gathering in an apartment complex parking lot, The Eagle newspaper of Bryan-College Station reported earlier this week.

The Hearne City Council met on Saturday and voted unanimously to fire Stem, according to a report by KBTX-TV in the Bryan-College Station metropolitan area of Texas. City officials could not be reached for comment but the Hearne police official confirmed Stem was let go, without giving further details.

Stem's attorney, Robert McCabe, could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

McCabe in a statement told KBTX on Friday that he was "fully confident that Officer Stem's actions were immediately necessary and legally justified."

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Mo., and Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Diane Craft)

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Comments (21)
the woman is dead. are they going to just say sorry?

May 10, 2014 9:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jahpdq59 wrote:
This was solely to try to avoid federal civil rights liability under 28 U.S.C. Section 1983. If the PD hadn’t fired Stem, it would have been evidence that the Hearn PD ratified his killing of this woman, and since he’s done it before and obviously somehow got away with it, that could be used to establish evidence of a pattern to prove “state action” under the statute.

So, bottom line is, nobody learned anything here, and I’d make sure I avoid Hearn if I decide to drive through Texas in the future.

May 10, 2014 10:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NetG wrote:
must be more to the story because if she had a gun and wouldn’t drop it…

May 10, 2014 10:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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