It took the death of a 28-year-old man and a 93-year-old woman to do it, but a police officer faced some sort of consequences for his actions: he was fired.
Stephen Stem had been on the job for less than two years but managed to kill two people in that time, a remarkable statistic for a police officer in a small town of fewer than 4,500 people that gets about 10 calls a day. In late 2012, Tederalle Satchell, 28, was with a group of people reported to the police for firing a weapon from a car. Stem shot and killed Satchell during a foot pursuit. Satchell was not carrying a weapon when he was shot, though he was before and during the pursuit. Stem was cleared of any wrongdoing by a grand jury and returned to work.
Last Tuesday, Pearlie Golden's nephew called the police after his nonagenarian aunt pulled a gun on him when he wouldn't give her her car keys because she just failed a driving test. The nephew, Roy Jones, told KBTX that Golden had a .38 revolver (it belonged to her deceased husband, who was also a Hearne police officer). Stem arrived and ordered her to put it down, but she refused. Stem shot at her four times, hitting her twice. Jones said Golden fired her weapon twice, but into the ground. The district attorney has not yet confirmed who fired first -- or that Golden fired at all. Stem, for one, told his lawyer that Golden did not shoot.