Texas Cop Who Shot Woman, 93, Fired

Family members say she fired shots into ground
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2014 12:33 AM CDT
Texas Cop Who Shot Woman, 93, Fired
Jannifer Taylor, neighbor of Pearlie Golden, 93, applauds following a Hearne city council meeting that ended in a unanimous vote to dismiss officer Stephen Stem.   (AP Photo/Bryan-College Station Eagle, Stuart Villanueva)

The Texas police officer who shot and killed a 93-year-old woman last week has been fired after a unanimous vote from the city council of Hearne. "The decision that was made by this council was a difficult one. We did it because it was best for the city," the small town's mayor tells KBTX. Officer Stephen Stem shot Pearlie Golden after responding to a 911 call from her nephew. She was shot after refusing to drop her handgun, and family members say she fired two shots in the ground after police arrived.

"My heart hurts to know it could have been handled a different way, totally differently. And now she's gone and there's nothing we can do about that," a local resident tells Click2Houston. Stem's lawyer, however, says "his actions likely saved not only his own life, but also saved the life of the citizens who called 911 seeking immediate help" and he believes an investigation by the Texas Rangers will clear his client. Stem was not charged after another fatal shooting a few months after he joined the force in 2012, but the Golden case has been submitted to a grand jury. (More Texas stories.)

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