In brief: Officer who shot 93-year-old fired
Hearne, Texas – Officials in a small central Texas town voted Saturday to fire a police officer who shot and killed an armed 93-year-old woman during a confrontation at her home. The City Council’s unanimous vote to dismiss Officer Stephen Stem came after a meeting that lasted less than 30 minutes.
Mayor Ruben Gomez had said he would recommend the termination of Stem, who shot and killed Pearlie Golden on Tuesday night. Gomez promised that to demonstrators who marched to City Hall protesting the shooting of “Miss Sulie,” as many residents called Golden.
Hearne police have said in a statement that Golden “brandished a gun” when Stem arrived, but have declined to comment further. Stem was on administrative leave while Texas Rangers investigated the shooting.
Golden’s nephew, Roy Jones, told a Bryan-College Station area TV station that his aunt became upset when she was denied a driver’s license renewal and armed herself when he refused to return her car keys. Jones said he called 911, and he said Golden fired two shots before the officer who responded shot her.
Troubled Phoenix VA gets interim director
Phoenix – An interim director will take over the embattled Phoenix VA Health Care System on Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced. Steve Young will oversee delivery of health care to an estimated 85,000 veterans and an operating budget of about $500 million.
The move comes as the Phoenix VA tries to restore its reputation while it is under investigation for possible patient deaths. In recent weeks, critics of the VA system have alleged that administrators in Phoenix kept an off-the-books list to conceal long wait times as 40 veterans died waiting to get an appointment.
Director Sharon Helman and two other employees were placed on administrative leave May 1.