93-Year-Old Texas Woman Shot and Killed By Police

Illustration for article titled 93-Year-Old Texas Woman Shot and Killed By Police

A 93-year-old Texas woman was shot and killed by a police officer on Tuesday after she allegedly brandished a gun.


Pearlie Golden was fatally shot at her home in Hearne by Officer Stephen Stem, according to the Robertson County District Attorney's office. Police were reportedly called to the scene by members of her family, who said she was threatening them with a gun, according to KBTX.

Via the Associated Press:

Stem was responding to a 911 call about a disturbance involving a woman with a gun. The Hearne Police Department said in a written statement that Golden "brandished a firearm" when Stem encountered her. He then shot her multiple times.

A revolver believed to be the weapon Golden had at the time of the shooting was found at the scene by officers, the statement said. She was taken to a hospital in nearby Bryan where she died from the injuries.


City attorney Bryan Russ said officials believe the woman was told to put the gun down but did not comply.

"She did have a gun," said Robertson County District Attorney Coty Siegert. "What she was doing with it, that is the ultimate question."

According to KBTX, this is not the first time Stem has shot a suspect while on duty. Six months after he started with the department, he fatally shot a man who was firing a gun from his car in a parking lot. A jury cleared him of wrongdoing in that shooting.


The Texas Rangers are now in charge of the investigation into the shooting death of Golden. Stem has been placed on administrative leave.

Image via Shutterstock.

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Ari Schwartz: Dark Lord of the Snark

Just a few thoughts then I'm off to find a dessert fitting of a night being sick:

1. This cop should be pored over like woah. I've read multiple studies that suggest that cops who shoot once in their career are more likely to shoot again (once you use force, it's easier to use it again, mentally speaking.) This deserves A TON of attention. I would put this guy on administrative duty for the rest of his career. The end. Any cop who's used lethal force multiple times should be taken off the beat.

2. Regardless of age, Golden had a firearm and evidence suggests she was threatening people with it. That's threat enough for most police to take action. Also in a use of force, it's typical for cops to shoot until a threat is neutralized. In the case of a firearm it's actually not uncommon for someone who's been shot (even with something with stopping power like a 9mm) to keep going if they're hit in the body. People do incredible things on adrenaline.

I'm inclined to wonder if they couldn't have used non-lethal measures instead, but to be honest a taser might have killed her anyway.

Shitty situation, frankly.

3. Any gun, regardless of whether it's loaded or not, is a lethal weapon. Pointing it at someone is a threat on that person's life. Full stop. No argument.