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93-Year-Old Woman Shot By Texas Police Officer

    May 8, 2014
    Ellisha Rader Mannering
    Comments are off for this post.

93-year-old Pearlie Golden was shot and killed by police officer Stephen Stem outside her apartment on Tuesday evening.

The Hearne Police Department received a 911 called earlier in the day from Perlie’s nephew.

Her nephew claimed that the Texas Department of Public Safety refused to renew Pearlie’s driver’s license and when her nephew tried to take her keys, she brought out her own gun and threatened him.

When police arrived at Pearlie’s home, she was waving a gun around in her front yard. Officer Stem asked her to put down her weapon and then fired a shot that wounded the elderly woman.

Pearlie was taken to St Joseph’s Hospital in Bryan where she died from the gunshot wound. Friends, family members and neighbors of Pearlie are devastated by the incident and joined together for a candlelight vigil on Wednesday evening.

“Even if she did have a gun, she is in her 90’s,” said Lawanda Cooke, a friend of Pearlie. “They could have shot in the air to scare her. Maybe she would have dropped it. I don’t see her shooting anyone.

Officer Stem has been placed on paid administrative leave while the Texas Rangers, Hearne Police and the Robertson County District Attorney’s Office investigate the matter.

“While it is too early in the investigation to comment on any of the facts or evidence stated above, I can say that this was a very tragic occurrence,” said District Attorney Coty Siegert. “My prayers go out to the family members of Miss Golden and to the Hearne Community as a whole.”

Officer Stem did not release a statement about the incident.

Those who knew Pearlie described her as a sweet and gentle woman who would never hurt anyone.

Do you think the officer was right to shoot the elderly woman, even if she was armed?

Image via News Inc


  • Dev

    I’m sorry, but if someone is pointing a gun at an officer he has every right to take action, regardless of age. A 93 year old can pull a trigger just as easily as anyone else, although it is unfortunate the result was her death.

    • Lynn

      Excuse me Dev…I beg to differ…consider the reason why she was upset & waving the gun in the first case…she is 93 yrs old…other people don’t want her to drive any more…first they take away her license, then they take away the keys to the car, next they probably would have taken away the car…..she was having her independence taken away…the nephew could have disabled the car by removing the plug wires or distributor cap when she wasn’t looking…problem possibly fixed…she sounds like she was a feisty woman who was having trouble accepting the fact that others felt she should no longer drive……don’t know other details such as she has been hitting parked cars…I know older people who have lost their privilege to drive because of drinking/driving/hitting parked cars…or just hitting parked cars while trying to drive a short distance to the store…or being senile…some don’t remember they don’t have a license and get behind the wheel…..I know seniors with all those problems…Even if she was waving a gun the officer should have USED HIS WORDS, NOT HIS WEAPON…His duty should have been to diffuse the situation…KILLING A 93 yr old woman IS MURDER…I SEE A MAJOR LAWSUIT AGAINST THE OFFICER & HIS POLICE DEPARTMENT…BULLSHIT ABOUT MURDERING AN OLD WOMAN BECAUSE THE OFFICER WAS WITHIN HIS RIGHTS…HE SHOULD BE FIRED/FINED/DO TIME

      • Dev

        I work in nursing care for a retirement community so I understand your point, but the fact is a person was pointing a deadly weapon at an officer. She had been asked by a family member to drop the gun and refused to do so. None of us know the details, but I would be willing to bet you the officer did not jump out of his car and immediately shoot the woman. It is impossible to know what precipitated between the officer and the elder without hearing details, however painting the officer as a murderous monster based simply on the fact that the lady was elderly is ridiculous and unjust.

      • Guest

        Lynn if an elderly person ever points a gun at you or a close family member just remember to use your words and not call a police officer.

    • smithsson

      I agree with @Lynn .
      @Dev: I currently have an 89 year old Dad who has been diagnosed with Dementia. He has so far lost over $1.4 million US dollars in daily penny stock trading, and just traded an additional $70,000 today. For him, it’s his only expression of freedom,[He thinks he’s making money, despite all the mounting contrary evidence and all of the discouragements from his friends and family] but at a horrendous cost to the family.

      That being said, the use of a lethal force on an elderly is never a good choice. As difficult as it is for a family who is frustrated but still loves dear old Dad/Mom. You do what you can to always make certain that the assurance of care be always the main point and keep re-focusing to the individuals problem area as a secondary point. They need to know you care, or they will never give up to the things they feel “control” over.

      Some police might disagree, but “PROTECT AND SERVE” are core to the mission of any officer who bears arms. My friends who work in the sheriffs office tells me their training informs them never to use the weapon to wound, but only to use lethal force to put down and stop someone. The officer was simply wrong in going for the gun first. Killing a 93 year old was neither protecting her or serving her family. Empathy should be a core prerequisite for anyone who welds the law[and lethal force]; laws alone do not uphold basic morality; wisdom does. [Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth]

      • Dev

        Well, you are clearly very one sided in your assumption that the officer was not indeed serving in the best interest of others. The woman took out a gun threatening a family member, refused to put the gun down, and proceeded to point the gun at the officer. As you have acknowledged, she was most likely not in a sound state of mind, so her actions may be clouded and less rational. You also throw out the assumption that the officer’s first approach to the situation was to shoot this person. There has been no information to perpetuate that this officer’s primary intention was to harm this elderly woman without the influence of extreme circumstances and immediate danger.

        • smithsson

          @Dev: if you read some of the other articles. It says the officer shot her four to five times. That doesn’t sound like a warning shot to me.
          And consider me biased or more experienced in dealing with the elderly. I do expect many of the elderly to be less rational, more emotional. and call it wisdom or naivete, but I would rationalize an elderly having lived a longer life; would value life more, and would less likely even consider the use of lethal force. The officer in question however, has shown a history of taking life.

          Perhaps you are convincing me, but I still lean towards that there is error on the part of the officer who who’s seemly rash actions resulted in the death of an elderly.

          • smithsson

            @disqus_eN3VDdFDR1:disqusI spoke with some friends who are detectives and retired police last night at a bible study. I admit. I was wrong. They had informed me that even if she was waving the gun around, had they saw that the gun was being waved in their direction, they would have opened fire.

            I was no aware full metal jackets and some other bullets can easily penetrate a car so there was no chance they could have been shielded from it unless they were behind an engine block.

            The police are trained to insure that no one else’s lives could have been put in danger.

    • Former USMC

      At no point in the article does it say that she pointed the weapon at the officer. It says she was waving it around. As of now, more Americans have been killed by police than killed in Afghanistan since 2001. The new policy of American police is shoot first, ask no questions, and lie about it afterwards.

  • keith peru

    It just so happens that this particular officer don’t mind shooting and killing people. Not his first time. I wonder when he is cleared this time, if they will give him his gun back and wait on him to shoot again. Really tragic.

    • Lynn

      Yep…He should definitely LOSE HIS RIGHTS TO OWN OR USE A GUN because he is a REPEAT OFFENDER…KILLER…MURDERER…He does not deserve to be a police officer…But then it is TEXAS and Texans are big on GUNS & Rights to Bear Arms…Texas Legal System will probably be Stupid Enough Give His Gun Back and Keep Him On The Force So He Can Kill More Innocent People…My son is a Police Officer who believes his duty is to Protect & Serve…He has been involved in shootings with REAL CRIMINALS and has had to draw/fire his weapon in Life or Death situation after a crime was committed…The COP in Question Is A FUCKING PIG Who OBVIOUSLY ENJOYS KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE

      • gah

        Do you have proof that the officer has unjustifiably killed someone prior to this incident, or are you just feeding off a prior statement from someone who didn’t offer any proof of his charge?

    • gah

      Do you have proof that the officer has unjustifiably killed someone before, or are you just lying?

  • McKay

    Age should have nothing to do with it. Her gun could kill the same as a teenagers.
    What was she waving a gun around for anyway? Course, she was an old black woman so guess that makes her innocent..

    • Lynn

      McKay…Obviously you Suffer From CRI…..She was upset because Other People were Trying to Take her Freedom & Independence Away…The Fact That She Was Black Probably Didn’t Help But if You Read Previously, Please Note That This FUCKING PIG LOVES TO USE HIS GUN TO KILL PEOPLE

  • BARBARA DOYLE

    YES THE OFFICER HAS A RIGHT TO SHOOT OF SOMEONE IS POINTING A GUN AT HIM. THERE COULD HAVE BEEN OTHER CASULTIES, IF HER GUN HAD WENT OFF ON PURPOSE OR BY MISTAKE. I AM SORRY BUT HE DID THE RIGHT THING.IF HER LISCENCE WAS TAKEN AWAY HER EYE SIGHT WAS PROBABLY GOING. FOR HER TO PULL A GUN, HER MENTALITY WAS PROBABLY GOING ALSO. IT IS A TRAGATY, AND I FEEL FOR EVERYONE. MY HEART BREAKS AT THIS STORY, BUT SHE WAS IN THE WRONG. I DON’T BELIEVE SHE WOULD HAVE DONE IT IF SHE HAD BEEN IN HER RIGHT STATE OF MIND. RIP AND GOD BLESS HER.

    • smithsson

      @Barbara:
      a) stop using all caps. This is the equivalent of shouting.
      b) tragedy, not TRAGATY.
      c) license, not LISCENCE.
      d) Please don’t ignore the squiggly red line when you’re typing. The computer is trying to tell you to not make a fool of yourself when you’re trying to say you’re mentally competent enough to make a lucid statement.
      e) God does bless us all, and he is ever providential. Please remember your grammar skills. As Colossians 4:5 states: “Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders, make the most of every opportunity.” Using bad grammar will not likely make your point more convincing or compelling.
      …and lastly, I disagree with you. [and I do support the 2nd amendment]

  • Cori Camper

    First lets remember her own nephew called police because she was waving a gun around. If he is concerned enough to call then why do people think the officer shouldn’t be concerned? Just because she is 93 doesn’t mean she can’t kill anyone. The officer asked her to put the gun down, she didn’t, end of story and her life. Being black and 93 doesn’t excuse you from the laws. It is sad this is the way she chose to end her life simple because she couldn’t drive anymore.

  • JaneDoe

    Where is Andy Griffith when you need him? She could have been talked down not shot and killed. Plus her son could have handled the situation differently. Everyone failed this woman. How did this officer think he was going to shoot a frail 93 yr old woman and not have her be a fatality. Well, he will have to live with this decision for the rest of his natural born life. Karma is a Big B – Divine Reciprocity-what goes around will come around to him or maybe to one of his loved ones. Just a sad story.

  • Pontefractious

    So they wanted to take her license away, presumably because her driving posed a danger to others. Apparently no one has a problem with her having a gun, however. Why on earth did she have one ? If the nephew should have disabled the car instead of trying to arrange for her license to be taken away (one suggestion) why did he not take her ammunition away ? We are so brainwashed by the NRA these days that such questions don’t even get asked. I have to assume that what ever level of disability or impairment someone has, while they should not, of course, drive a car, their right to own a weapon and wave it in the face of others is inalienable. The only question is why she didn’t fully exercise her rights and get an AK47 (or maybe a howitzer).

  • Amy Jones

    That’s why people carry guns, a 93 year old woman is just as dangerous as a 20 year old prize fighter. The only person i don’t feel sorry for is the 93 year old woman. The nephew and the cop did what they had to do.

  • Herman Mungslinger

    Shoot in the air? Lmfao some stupid people here. You have a gun, you are told by an officer of the law to drop the gun, you refuse commands, you continue to wildly aim your gun around, 9 years old or 93 years old, your going to be shot, it’s common sense. Your age does not allow you to behave any way you please. You act a fool, you get treated a fool. Is it tragic? Yes of course, but put yourself in this officers position. At the end of the day, it’s either shoot and survive or take your chances that some ding bat won’t shoot you. She had already threatened to kill a family member for trying to take her keys, what makes this officer…who is unknown to this woman, any less of a target?

  • Amy Jones

    So if the headline reads, “93 year old woman shoots nephew that tried to take her license away, while cop sits by and does nothing.” What would your reaction be? What if she shoot some kid eating breakfast on accident?

    Also, to you personal freedom people saying they shouldn’t have tried to take her license, there is obviously a reason they did it. If she were drunk and they tried to take it, would you be just as concerned with personal freedom?

    • Amy Jones

      shot some kid.

  • femalejeep

    Does it say anywhere that the gun was loaded?

    • smithsson

      my understanding is, anytime anyone handles a weapon, it should always be assumed it is loaded.

  • Cyndelee

    I really don’t care if she was 110, if she was waving a gun in their face and threatening to shoot then she got what she deserved. Age, race, gender, mental state or nationality doesn’t not exempt you from the law!

  • Guest

    No sympathy what so ever. The title to this story is VERY misleading.