Hearne woman killed in officer-involved shooting

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Dennis Phillips
Publisher
Robertson County News

A Hearne woman died Tuesday night after being shot by a Hearne police officer.

An officer responded Tuesday evening to a 911 call at the home of 93-year-old Pearlie Golden, after the caller reported a woman with a firearm, according to Robertson County Attorney / District Attorney Coty Seigert. Officer Stephen Stem identified the suspect and confirmed that she did have a firearm. Stem then ordered Golden to put down the weapon before ultimately firing his weapon, according to a press release issued by the DA’s office early Wednesday.

“Investigators recovered three shell casings from the scene,” said sources close to the investigation.

Neighbors interviewed at the scene reported as many as five shots fired by the officer. There has been no official statement regarding the number of shots fired and it has been reported that an autopsy will be conducted of the suspect.

Golden was transported to St. Josephs Hospital where she died from the gun shot wounds.

“Our prayers go out to the family and the City of Hearne. We have called a special meeting of the council to address the situation and will do so as soon as the law allows,” said Mayor Ruben Gomez.

Stem has been placed on administrative leave pending investigation. The City Council will have to wait the posted 72 hours before meeting.

The Mayor, along with City Manager Pee-Wee Drake and Hearne Chief of Police Thomas Williams met with City Attorney Bryan F. Russ, Jr. before lunch on Wednesday to draft the official meeting notice, which is posted at City Hall as of Wednesday. The notice calls for a special meeting of the council on Saturday May 10 at 1:30 P.M. at City Hall. According to the Council Agenda, the members will meet in closed session to discuss possible discipline, dismissal of officer Stem. The council will then reconvene to possibly take action.

The incident is currently under investigation by the Texas Rangers, the States investigation department whenever an officer involved shooting occurs, with the assistance of the Robertson County District Attorney’s Office. According to Seigert, once the investigation is complete the findings will be presented to the Robertson County 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 and my prayers go out to the family members of Miss Golden and to the Hearne Community as a whole,” said Seigert.

Stem was cleared of a December 2012 shooting at the Columbus Village Apartments. At the time of that shooting, family members identified the deceased as 28-year-old Tederalle Satchell. Hearne Police Department officers responded to a disturbance call that led to the shooting death of Satchell by Stem. In May of 2013, as reported in the Robertson County News, Stem was cleared and returned to active duty for the City of Hearne at the conclusion of the investigation.

In April, the Robertson County Grand Jury heard the Texas Rangers report delivered by Ranger Andres DeLaGarza. The Grand Jury no-billed that case against Stem and decided not to proceed with charges.

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