|Pearlie Golden (right) was killed last week after an officer told her to drop her firearm. The city of Hearne wants the officer who fired the shot removed off the force.|
In the great state of Texas, a law officer is off the job after he was involved in a shooting that killed a 93-year old grandmother. The officer vows to fight his termination.
The NAACP and those in the community hope that Stephen Stem is permanently off the force. He had a history of opening fire on residents. In particular, Black residents.
Stern, a police officer from Hearne killed Pearlie Golden after numerous attempts to disarm the woman.
The woman shot into the ground twice after she got into a domestic dispute with family members after she lost her driver's license during a failed exam.
The Eagle which serves Bryan and College Station, TX reports that Roy Jones, Golden's great-nephew, was the one who called 911 after Golden brandished a gun. His sister, Theresa Jones, who lives in Bryan and was not present at Tuesday's shooting, said her older brother was shaken up by the experience and was not available for comment on Friday. She described Jones as Golden's "right-hand man," saying he had long helped care for their aunt.
|Stephen Stern told the city of Hearne that he did nothing wrong and the firing was unjust. He will take them to court.|
"He would drive her if she needed to go to Bryan, but she drove herself around Hearne," Theresa Jones said.
Theresa Jones said her brother and Golden got in an argument when he refused to give her the keys to her car on Tuesday. At that point, Ray Jones told his sister, Golden grabbed a gun, which had belonged to her late husband.
|Residents pack Hearne city hall.|
Jones said her aunt was well-loved and had had no previous problems with the law, and that the family had never needed to call the police on her before. Since she was not there, she did not know if Golden fired any shots before the police arrived.
When officers arrived, Jones said, her brother saw Golden fire two shots into the ground. After disobeying
Officer Stephen Stem's orders to put her weapon down, she was fired on four times and struck twice. She was taken to St. Joseph Hospital, where she died later Tuesday evening.
Theresa Jones said Golden was not violent and was probably trying to defend herself and be left alone.
Robertson County District Attorney Coty Siegert could not confirm any evidence existed indicating Golden had fired her weapon, but said it was too early in the investigation to rule out the possibility.
Siegert said the firearm was sent to a forensic lab for ballistics testing as part of the process of determining if the elderly woman did shoot her gun.
Theresa Jones said she believes Stem did not need to shoot Golden and should've handled the situation differently.
"They could've shot in the area to scare her or something. They didn't have to shoot her," she said.
She said Roy Jones, who lives in Hearne, was very close to his great-aunt. He would take off work to drive her to doctors' appointments and recently took her fishing, a pastime she loved, but which had become increasingly difficult with her advanced age.
Theresa Jones declined to give the age of her brother, but said he has been talking with Texas Rangers, who are investigating the shooting.
CNN reports that Stern's attorney Robert McCabe is vowing to fight this termination.
|Hearne police are dealing with a public relations problem.|
"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.
"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."