Family Believes Towler Couldn't See or Hear Officers
Altavista, VA - Delma Towler's family wants an apology from Altavista police. Friday, her oldest daughter spoke with ABC 13 News for the first time since Wednesday night when an Altavista officer shot and killed Towler.
Madeline Clark says it was impossible for her mom to have seen officers or even hear them saying drop the weapon. Towler's hearing aids were not in her ears, and her glasses were not on.
Friday, the family took us inside Towler's home. They showed us first-hand why they say Towler is a victim in this case. They showed us her hearing aids still in the house and bullet holes in the ceiling. They say she was not trying to shoot at an officer, but was chasing what she believed was an intruder out of her home.
"Someone came in to this house terrorizing her. And she started shooting just to scare them. There's bullet holes up on the ceiling. There's another one right there," said Madeline Clark, Towler's daughter.
Delma Towler's daughter says the 83-year-old was protecting herself. She was a good Christian woman, who had never fired a gun in her life. She says Towler would never have fired at an officer.
"If she were shooting at somebody to kill, she wouldn't have been shooting at the ceiling. She's just trying to frighten them away," said Clark.
Family says there may have been an intruder. Their proof: Towler's pocketbook is gone.
"And she kept it sitting right here beside her recliner - and it's missing," said Clark, pointing to a table alongside the living room chair.
Events inside Towler's home are just the start; questions remain about Towler's final moments. Her family says, for safety, Towler left her own home and walked to her sister's two doors down. It was there, an officer shot and killed Towler. Her sister Margaret says she saw the whole thing.
"And Margaret said she did not have a gun pointed at anybody. She was trying to get in to the deck gate to get in to the house," said Clark.
But, the state police investigation indicates Towler refused to put down her gun. Her family says Towler couldn't have seen or heard the officer. Her glasses were in her home and her hearing aids off.
"She didn't have her hearing aids on because here they are right here," said Clark.
More than anything, family wants an apology from Altavista Police.
"How do you move forward?" we asked Clark.
"I don't know," she replied. "They took my mama."
Delma Towler's funeral is Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Altavista Church of Christ.