Hearne Residents: Let's Not Rush to Judgment

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HEARNE, Texas - Hearne residents haven't been shy about their opinions on the officer-involved shooting that left a 93-year-old woman dead, but not everyone in town is ready to pass judgment.

"You live all your life, all that time, and then die from being shot. It's just sad," said Hearne resident Chuck Thompson.

Thompson said even though the story is a sad one, all the facts in the case have yet to be revealed.

"Justice without information isn't really justice," said Thompson. "It carries out an emotional feeling that somebody has because they're upset, but it's not really a decision made on complete information."

Jo Miller has been living in the Hearne area for the past 15 years, and she thinks the facts of the case and the justice system should decide who's right and who's wrong.

"I would like to wait until all the evidence is in before I make a decision," said Miller.

Officer Stephen Stem was called to Pearlie Golden's home on May 6 after her nephew, Roy Jones, told police she had a gun. Jones said she was upset because Golden failed her driver's test, and he took her keys away. Investigators said Stem ordered Golden to put the gun down several times before he shot her.

New Black Panther Nation leader Quanell X led a march in Hearne to speak out against officer Stem and the police force. Stem has since been fired by city council.

Residents and business owners in Hearne who spoke with News 3 said they're afraid to disagree with the ones who feel Stem is guilty because of possible repercussions from city officials or the community.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the case. It could take several months before they hand it over to a grand jury.