Pearlie Golden (pictured in the 1980s), 93, was allegedly killed by Hearne, Texas, police officer Stephen Stern (pictured inset) who fired five shots at her while he was responding to an emergency call about a woman wielding a gun.
Golden, who had allegedly been threatening her nephew with a revolver because he took away her car keys, was outside her home with the weapon in hand. Now folks in the predominantly Black Texas town are up in arms questioning why would any law enforcement agent shoot an elderly woman repeatedly and not resort to other means to get her to put down her weapon, reports KBTX-TV.
According to police, on Tuesday evening Golden’s nephew called them, after his aunt grabbed a gun and allegedly threatened him with it. Golden’s driver’s license had reportedly been taken away from her, so he in turn took away the keys to her vehicle. When police arrived on the scene, they claimed to have witnessed Golden outside of her home waving her gun around.
Reportedly, Stern stepped up and demanded that the nonagenarian set her revolver down, but when she did not, he fired his sidearm, wounding the senior who later died at a local hospital.
Now a concerned group of Hearne residents are looking for answers as to why Stern felt compelled to shoot his revolver five times at a 93-year-old woman.
Lawanda Cooke, who knew Golden, told KBTX, “Even if she did have a gun, she is in her 90s. They could have shot in the air to scare her. Maybe she would have dropped it. I don’t see her shooting anyone.”
Stern, who previously shot and killed a suspect while still a rookie cop nearly two years ago, was cleared of the wrongdoing by a grand jury.
Meanwhile, Stern has been suspended with pay and the case is still under investigation by the town’s police department, Texas Rangers, and the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office.