HEARNE (May 6, 2014) Pearlie Golden, 93, who died at an area hospital after a Hearne police officer shot her repeatedly, was armed when the officer arrived at her home in response to a report that a woman was waving a gun around, the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.
Golden died Tuesday night in St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan after the officer shot her at least five times, according to multiple witnesses.
According to the sheriff’s office statement, officers responded to a 911 call Tuesday evening about a woman waving a gun around, outside a home on Pin Oak Street.
When Officer Stephen Stem arrived, he asked Golden to “put down the weapon and then ultimately fir(ed) his own sidearm, wounding Miss Golden,” the statement said.
Friends of the woman’s family told KBTX-TV in Bryan that a nephew was trying to take away Golden’s car keys Tuesday after she failed a driver’s test and that he called 911 after she grabbed the gun.
Stem was on paid administrative leave Wednesday as Texas Rangers, Hearne police and the Robertson County District Attorney's Office investigated.
The case will eventually be presented to a grand jury.
“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,” District Attorney Coty Siegert said.
“My prayers go out to the family members of Miss Golden and to the Hearne community as a whole.”
This is the second time Stem has been involved in a deadly shooting.
He joined the Hearne Police Department on July 22, 2012 and less than six months later, he shot and killed Tederalle Satchell., who police say was firing a gun from a car in the Columbus Village Apartments parking lot.
A Robertson County grand jury declined to indict Stem, clearing him of any wrongdoing.
Before moving to Hearne, Stem spent a year with the Lott Police Department and nearly three years with the Bryan Police Department.
Residents questioned why police would shoot Golden, whom they described as a sweet, sweet woman known in the neighborhood as Ms. Sully.
“Even if she did have a gun, she is in her 90’s,” said Lawanda Cooke.
“They could have shot in the air to scare her. Maybe she would have dropped it. I don’t see her shooting anyone."
Residents were organizing a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Wednesday in front of Golden’s home.