Family Takes Issue With the Commonwealth's Findings on Towler's - WSET.com - ABC13

Family Takes Issue With the Commonwealth's Findings on Towler's Death

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Altavista, VA - Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Donald Caldwell announced Monday that no charges will be filed in the death of 83-year-old Delma Towler.

The fatal shooting took place at Delma Towler's home the night of September 19.

Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Don Caldwell revealed his findings, but Towler's family says they may not be accurate.

"I think I know my mother a lot better than Don Caldwell," said Madeline Clark.

Family of Delma Towler are appalled over the decision to not press charges in her death.

"I'm so disgusted I just lost faith in the police department, period, Clark said.

According to Caldwell's findings, just after 9 p.m., Campbell County 911 Dispatch received a hang-up call from Towler's home.

Two officers came to the front door and spent 30 minutes trying to make contact with someone inside the house. While trying to make contact, they heard what was later determined to be the sound of a .22 revolver being fired.

A few minutes later, another shot was fired, investigators said, allegedly in the direction of one of the officers.

At that point, the officers on scene repositioned their cars, illuminated the front house, and got out their semi-automatic rifles. The stand-off, as police call it, ensued.

The ordeal ended when Towler was shot three times outside her home after officials say she raised her gun toward Sergeant L.P. Rigney, Jr.

The Towler family says the statements are not correct, however.

"Even my aunt says she was standing there watching her come across the yard and she did not have her gun raised, she had her hands down by her side and when she got to the deck, she raised her hands so she could open that gate," Clark said.

Family who agreed to talk only by phone, say an intruder was in Towler's home, and that's why she called police. They say the intruder got out, and Towler paid the price.

ABC 13 called the Altavista Police Department for an interview, and to obtain the video officers captured that night, but calls were not returned as of Monday afternoon.

ABC 13 also tried to get the 911 tapes of the night, and we are still waiting to hear back on them.

"I am very disappointed in the Altavista Police Department. I am very disappointed in Don Caldwell, because I know that my Mama wouldn't have tried to shoot anyone," Clark said.

ABC 13 will continue to follow this story and will have more updates as more information becomes available.

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