The Altavista police officer who shot and killed an 83-year-old woman Wednesday night is now on administrative leave.
We still don't know the officer's name, but reports say that person is a 10-year veteran of the police force. State police are still investigating.
The shooting happened Wednesday night at a home on 10th Street in Altavista.
Delma Towler 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.
Towler's funeral is 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the Altavista Church of Christ.
10:10 p.m. Thursday
No clear answers in the death of an 83-year-old woman. She was shot to death by Altavista officers Wednesday night.
It happened at a home on 10th Street in Altavista. Around 10 o'clock on Wednesday night, Delma Towler dialed 911 and then hung up.
Virginia State Police report Altavista police sent officers to check on the house. Towler's son Robert Barbour says she thought somebody was trying to break in.
"She's had intruders around there before," says Barbour.
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."
Barbour says she was probably trying to scare away any would-be intruders.
"She heard some noise and she thought it was somebody out there trying to break in and she shot two or three bullets," says Barbour.
Here's where the disagreement lies. Virginia State Police report that "the officers approached the woman, commanding her repeatedly to put down her weapon. She refused to comply and pointed her weapon at the officers. The woman, Delma Towler... was subsequently shot. "
Barbour says police have it all wrong.
"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."
Barbour says his mother was walking to her sister's house two doors up.
"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," says Barbour.
Towler died at the scene.
5:00 p.m. update from the Virginia State Police:
A spokeswoman from the Virginia State Police says Altavista Police Officers made several attempts to determine if anyone was inside Delma Towler's home and then heard shots fired from inside.
Officers took cover and watched her leave the house with a gun in her hand. They followed her as she walked up to another home.
They approached Towler, and commanded her repeatedly to put down her gun. Officers say she refused and pointed her weapon at them. She was then shot and died at the scene.
According to family members, an 83-year-old woman was shot and killed by an Altavista police officer Wednesday night.
Family members tell WDBJ7 that Delma Towler called police because she thought someone was breaking into her home on 10th Street.
Relatives say the 83-year-old was wandering behind her house. WDBJ7 has learned Delma may have fired a gunshot through her back door.
She then left her house and tried to walk through her backyard to the home of her sister who, lives two doors away.
Delma got all the way to her sister's back porch and that's when family members say she was shot by a police officer.
"I heard something this morning on the news that something happened in Altavista," Carl Barbour, the victim's grandson said. "But I never thought it would be my grandmother. I mean, I thought it would be something to do with a drug-related problem, or something in that nature. Then I get called when I'm at work that it's my grandmother. And I'm like 'What?' Because I can't believe it."
Delma died before she was taken to the hospital. We're told that paramedics arrived at the scene quickly and tried to revive her, but they were not able to save her.
Family members say the woman lived at 813 10th Street in Altavista. The incident happened around 10 p.m.
Check back soon for more updates.
We're waiting to learn what caused an Altavista police officer to shoot and kill a woman in a home there.
State police say it happened around 10 p.m. Wednesday night on Tenth street.
The Altavista Police Department asked state police to investigate the incident.
The names of the officer of woman involved have not been released.
We'll bring you updates as they come into the newsroom.