Police allegedly shoot and kill 83-year-old woman while responding to her 911 call

Delma Towler
Delma Towler

(CBS/WDBJ/AP) ALTAVISTA, Va. - Virginia State Police are now investigating an incident  where a 83-year-old woman was allegedly shot and killed by Altavista officers responding to her 911 call Wednesday night.

According to CBS affiliate WDBJ, Delma Towler was was shot while attempting to walk to her sister's house. She was apparently trying to get away from what she thought was an intruder, trying to break into her house.

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 leaving the back of the house."

Towler's son Robert Barbour says she was probably trying to scare away any would-be intruders, WDBJ reports.

"She heard some noise and she thought it was somebody out there trying to break in and she shot two or three bullets," Barbour said.

Police say Towler refused to comply with officers who approached her as she walked to another home and pointed her weapon at them, but Barbour says his mother would never do that, WDBJ reports.

"Mom ain't gonna hurt no police officer or nobody else," says Barbour, "She was a good Christian woman and she wouldn't hurt a soul."

Altavista's police chief requested the state police investigation. According to WDBJ, the officer who shot Towler is on leave and reports identify the person as a 10-year veteran of the force.