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Texas police officer shoots dead 93-year-old woman

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A small town Texas police officer responding to an emergency call about a female with a gun has been suspended for shooting dead a 93-year-old woman in her home, authorities said on Thursday.

Hearne police officer Stephen Stem fatally shot Pearlie Golden, who was brandishing a firearm, the Robertson County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

"Officer Stem engaged the elderly female asking her to put down the weapon and then ultimately fired his own sidearm wounding Miss Golden, who later died at St. Joseph's Hospital," the statement said.

The Texas Rangers have been called in to investigate the incident in the central Texas town of Hearne. Hearne has a population of about 4,500 and is about 90 miles northeast of Austin.

The same officer was placed on leave about a year ago for shooting dead a suspect when responding to a call of an unruly crowd gathering in an apartment complex parking lot, The Eagle newspaper of Bryan-College Station reported.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz, editing by G Crosse)

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