The police officer who shot and killed a 93-year-old woman has been fired.
A vote by city officials in Hearne, Texas, sealed police officer Stephen Stem’s fate with the Hearn Police Department after less than 30 minutes of deliberation. It was a unanimous vote, reports KBTX.
The hearing came just days after Hearne shot and killed 93-year-old Pearlie Golden while responding to a 911 call from her nephew.
Golden was reportedly upset after failing a driver’s license renewal test and having her driving privileges revoked. Roy Jones, her nephew, called 911 after Golden grabbed a .38 revolver from her home when he refused to give her her car keys.
When police officer Stem arrived on the scene he ordered Golden to put the gun down and she refused. Jones contends that Golden shot two rounds into the ground, and Stem fired four shots, hitting Golden twice, in the right arm and the upper chest.
Robertson County District Attorney Coty Seigert said they have not confirmed whether Golden shot first.
Golden was seen as a matriarch in her mostly black community, reports the NY Daily News.
Stem’s attorney, Robert McCabe, said he is “fully confident that Officer Stem’s actions were immediately necessary and legally justified.”
Mayor Ruben Gomez did not agree and recommended termination, as did city attorney Bryan Ross who advised the council to do the same. They agreed and Stem has been terminated from his position.
Stem’s career as a police officer began in August 2008. He has worked for the Hearne Police Department since July 2012. This was his second shooting while with the department. The first, in 2012, involved 28-year-old Tederalle Satchell who was shooting a gun from inside a vehicle. Stem was not indicted by a Grand Jury in the case.
The Golden case will reach a Grand Jury in a matter of months.