By June 7, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Woman, 83, ‘gunned down like an animal’ by police after SHE called THEM to report an intruder in her home

You may not have noticed, but an increasing number of people are becoming absolutely fed up with the police. Even the elderly, raised with an image of Mayberry smiles, and hometown officers escorting children across school crosswalks are finding that this image of the police is becoming more and more antiquated and irrelevant to the vast majority of departments. Most recently, an 83-year-old woman has been shot and killed at her home by a police officer when she called 911 for help…

Killed by cops: Delma Towler, of Altavista, Virginia, pictured, was gunned down at around 10pm on Wednesday by a police officer

Delma Towler, of Altavista, Virginia, was gunned down at around 10pm on Wednesday after reporting a burglary. When police arrived, the elderly woman was wandering in the backyard holding a gun. Officers say they shot her after she repeatedly ignored their requests to drop the weapon.

But her daughters, Madeline Clark and Linda Langford, claim their mother was ‘gunned down like she was an animal,’ by police.

According to The News and Advance Lynchburg, Towler wasn’t wearing her hearing aid or glasses at the time of the incident so may not have been aware that the two officers had been dispatched to her home.

Before police arrived, Towler got her gun – which she’d never used – from her nightstand and fired in the air from her bedroom as a warning. It worked. The burglar was scared away instantly.

She then attempted to walk through her backyard to her sister’s house, two doors down. But before she made it there, the officer had fired, shooting the elderly woman dead. There is no question that she did not aim at the police. The police shot what was clearly an 83 year old woman, who did not point her weapon at them. Paramedics tried to revive Towler but were unable to save her and she died at the scene.

The officer, who hasn’t been named, has been placed on administrative leave, WDBJ7 reported. He is believed to be a veteran with more than 10 years’ experience in the force.

Family members are distraught at the woman’s death and have vowed to make the police officer pay for the fatal shooting.

Home: The woman called 911 to report a burglary in her Altavista home, pictured ‘It’s not over yet. I’m going to get some justice because our mother did not deserve to die like this… to be gunned down like she was an animal or a criminal,’ Langford told The News and Advance.

‘If I have to spend every penny, someone’s going to pay. They took my mama.’

The women insist their mother was in good health and that her mind was sound.They said doctors had tested her mental competency several months ago after she suffered a fall.

‘She had a good mind. She was fine,’ Langford said.

According to a statement released by Virginia State Police, Altavista officers arrived at the house and ‘heard shots fired from within the residence. As the officers took cover,  they saw a woman armed with a handgun leave the back of the house.’

Towler’s son Robert Barbour said his mother thought somebody was trying to break in and was probably trying to scare any would-be intruders away.

Shattered: The back door of Towler's home, pictured, was shot in the incidentShattered: The back door of Towler’s home, pictured, was shot in the incident

‘She’s had intruders around there before,’ he told WDBJ7. ‘She heard some noise and she thought it was somebody out there trying to break in and she shot two or three bullets.’

He added that the officers were wrong to fire at the 83-year-old, even if she wouldn’t drop her weapon when they asked.

‘Mom ain’t gonna hurt no police officer or nobody else. She was a good christian woman and she wouldn’t hurt a soul.’

Barbour said his aunt, Margaret Davis, was waiting for her sister to come inside when she was shot.

‘My aunt was holding the door open for her to come in and my aunt said she heard three shots like bang, bang, bang and she went down,’ he said.

The Altavista Police Department chief Clay Hamilton said an internal investigation found the officer involved was not at fault as he followed department policy.

Investigating: The unnamed police officer who shot Towler has been put on administrative leave and is being investigated by the state (stock photo)

But the local police have turned the case over to the Virginia State Police Criminal Investigation’s Police Shooting Investigative Team.

‘We’re going to be on a fact-finding mission,’ State Police Lt. Keith Keesee told the newspaper, adding that he wasn’t sure when they will complete their investigation.

‘It takes as long as it takes,’ he said.

Officers responded to Towler’s 10th Street house after receiving a 911 hang-up call at about 10pm.

State police spokesman Corinne Geller said officers shot Towler after she ignored police commands to drop her weapon and pointed the gun at them.

According to WDBJ7, Towler may have fired a gunshot through her back door, shattering the glass of the sliding door.

Investigators searched Towler’s property looking for evidence such as shell casings and damage from gunshots. They also seized digital photos, a digital answering machine message and a bullet fragment from the rear door and authorities previously recovered a handgun.

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