HEARNE, Texas – Dozens of residents angry that a police officer fatally shot a 93-year-old woman marched Thursday to police headquarters in the small Texas town of Hearne, where the longtime mayor greeted them and said he will recommend that the officer be fired.
That didn’t satisfy friends of Pearlie Golden, who authorities say appeared to be shot three times Tuesday night by officer Stephen Stem after he responded to a 911 call about a disturbance involving a woman and a gun.
“There’s no justification. Any police officer would know not to kill a 93-year-old fragile woman when they could have backed off,” said William Foster, 64, a retired professor in Hearne. “She was no threat to him.”
Hearne police have said in a statement that Golden “brandished a gun” when Stem arrived at her small brick home behind the railroad tracks that run through this mostly poor community of 4,500 people.
Robertson County District Attorney Coty Siegert said Thursday that a preliminary autopsy shows Golden was shot twice in the body and grazed by a third bullet. It’s the second time Stem has shot and killed a suspect since joining Hearne police in 2012, Siegert said.
Hearne Mayor Ruben Gomez said he will recommend Stem be fired at a city council meeting Saturday.
“It’s a loss of confidence in the community. We can’t have an officer the citizens have lost confidence in,” Gomez said.