More Than 100 People Attend Vigil For Hearne Elderly Woman Killed By Police Officer

By  | 

HEARNE - Somber moments Wednesday in Hearne as friends and community members gathered at a candlelight vigil for a 93-year-old woman shot and killed by a Hearne Police officer.

The details surrounding that shooting have been unclear at best.

But the Hearne Police Department says Pearlie Golden, a longtime resident, was shot by one of their officers after she showed a gun outside her home.

Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots, after which Golden was rushed to St. Joseph hospital in Bryan where she died.

Several friends of the Golden family tell News 3 that Pearlie's nephew was trying to take away her car keys because she failed a driver's test.

That's when she reportedly grabbed a revolver and the nephew called 9-1-1.

Investigators haven't released any other information about the interaction between police and Golden but we do know Hearne Police Officer Stephen Stem fired his weapon and hit Golden.

He's been placed on paid administrative leave.

Friends of Pearlie Golden say she was like family.

And that would explain the large crowd that gathered outside her home Wednesday for a candlelight vigil.

Songs of praise, prayers and flickering candles lit the darkening skies in Hearne along Pin Oak Street.

Just 24 hours earlier 93-year-old Pearlie Golden was shot and killed at her home when police say she threatened a relative with a revolver.

"We can't change nothing if we won't change us," said Pastor Cedric Rouse of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hearne.

More than 100 people gathered to lift up her family and friends.

William Adams is the Senior Minister at Providence Baptist Church in Hearne and called Golden, most commonly known as "Ms. Sulie," a fishing buddy.

"In that 93 years she was a member of the Old Elem Missionary Baptist Church where she spent most of her services there until her age and her mind began to change at a certain period," he said.

During the vigil Hearne Mayor Reuben Gomez addressed the crowd saying the officer who shot Golden, Stephen Stem will be a topic of discussion at a Saturday city council meeting.

The council will deliberate on his employment, discipline, or dismissal.

"He is on the agenda. This incident is on the agenda and action will be taken. I just want to assure the public that we are as concerned as everyone here today," said Mayor Gomez.

As people gather to pay respects for Mrs. Sulie vigil organizers are praying for not only peace, but also patience as the Hearne Police, Robertson County District Attorney's Office and Texas Rangers Investigate why this shooting happened.

Some brought flowers and others laid candles at the corner of Golden's home.

"We do know that God is love and if we're gonna be a greater city a greater place to live we're going to have to love on another," said William Adams.

Pearlie Golden's body is being sent to Austin for autopsy.

As standard procedure a grand jury will eventually take a look at the case.