(September 25, 2012) A police officer shot and killed an 83-year-old woman in her own backyard.
Delma Towler dialed 911 to report a burglary but when police arrived, one officer killed her outside her home in Altavista, Va.
"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," Towler's daughter Linda Langford told The News and Advance.
Towler had never fired her gun before that night. She fired a warning shot out the window to scare the burglar off. Then she started walking through her backyard toward her sister's house. She grasped the gun for protection from the reported intruder — not the police, her family maintains.
The police "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," according to a statement released by the Virginia State Police.
The two responding officers claim that they fired Towler after she refused to put her weapon down.