83 Year Old Grandmother, Shot Dead by Altavista, Virginia Police officer

By Davy V.

83 year old Delma Tower called 911 from her Altavista, Virginia home on Wednesday September 19, 2012 and hung up.

Within minutes, Altavista police officers arrived at her house.

Within a few more minutes, they shot and killed her.

Police claim that as they were approaching the house, they heard several gunshots inside.

As the officers took cover, they saw an elderly woman, Towler, leave through a back door with a gun in her hand.

Police say they approached Towler and repeatedly commanded her to put the gun down, but she refused.

According to police, Towler then turned and pointed the gun at officers, and they shot her dead.

Virginia State police said Altavista police officers went to check on Towler after the 911 hang up call.

“She’s had intruders around there before,” said Robert Towler, the 83 year old’s son.

Towler said his mother thought someone was trying to break in and must have fired the shots to scare them away.

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

“Mom ain’t gonna hurt no police officer or nobody else,” said 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,” said Barbour.

Towler died at the scene.

Police have not released the name of the officer but said he is a 10 year veteran of the Altavista, Virginia Police department.

Virginia State police are investigating.


Davy V.

Davy V. is a Cuban-American Filmmaker, Video Producer, Photographer and Freelance Writer, best known for using the power of video and film to expose Police Brutality, Corruption and Misconduct.

The son of the late Mario Vara, a community activist who for years fought against Police Brutality and Misconduct in Rochester, New York, Davy V. got his start in Television and Video by tagging along and working camera for his father’s cable access television show, “La Voz Del Pueblo” (The Voice of The People).

Davy V. later went on to produce and host “KEEP IT ON THE REEL”, a cable access TV show with a mix of Hip Hop as well as issues affecting African-Americans and Latinos in Rochester, NY, such as Police Brutality and Misconduct. Some guests on the show included Treach, KayGee and Vinnie of Naughty by Nature, Method Man, Funkdoobiest, Da Youngstas, and the Rottin’ Razkals.

Davy V. won the U.S. ACM Video Festival Award for his Documentary, “R.P.D. EXPOSED!” about the Rochester, New York Police Department and their long history of misconduct, corruption and unnecessary killings of unarmed innocent citizens.
“R.P.D. EXPOSED!” and Davy V.’s follow up, “R.P.D.: Badges of DISHONOR, CORRUPTION and MURDER!” were both screened at the National Hip Hop Political Convention at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey.

Davy V.’s work has been featured in publications such as THE SOURCE Hip Hop Magazine, URBAN AMERICA Magazine, The Ave. Magazine, Insider Magazine, La Voz Newspaper, Minority Reporter Newspaper, CNY LATINO Newspaper, DOWN Magazine, as well as on television news stations, and programs such as CNN and Inside Edition.

In addition to his freelance writing, Davy V. also writes a monthly Op/Ed Column for LA VOZ Magazine and Minority Reporter Newspaper.

In June 2012, Davy V. joined Cop Block as a regular contributor.

  • Lurker

    Wow, what do you expect the cops to do? Give her a hug?

    They respond to a 911 call, hear shots fired, then a lady runs out the back door with a gun and points it at them. An old lady with a gun is just as dangerous as a 20 year old with one. Point a gun at cops and you will probably die.

  • davyvisfullofit

    Eh..davy v is alwsys full of shit. Just like now …

  • nwosucks

    Lurker…that’s most likely the cover story. Ya know? Fuck these trigger happy “cops”

  • spirit of 46

    @Lurker they should pass a law making the opposite situation true as well

  • Steve H.

    Sounds like SBC, suicide by cop.

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  • enslave keene

    I am looking for anything in the article that puts the cops in a bad light…

    Oh yea, It’s a Davy V article, my B!!

  • enslave keene


    When using conjunctions such as “and or “but” or even “however”, no comma is needed.

    Also on quotations, place the comma after the quotes.

    Im no grammar nazi but man your stories are hard on the eyes.

  • Amigajoe

    The problem is you’re taking everything the police said as gospel, (except the running part which you made up yourself, 83 year old ‘running’, hmmm). we know for a fact that cops LIE. To expect them to tell the truth in a situation that would put them in a bad light is ridiculous.

  • Chris

    The police carry guns everyday and nobody shoots them because they have a gun.
    You have the god given right to defend yourself.
    You have the right to keep and bear arms.

    If you forget this 83 old grandmothers may end up dead… her fatal mistake was calling the police.

  • Common Sense

    Death ruled suicide……

  • shawn

    ” Police have not released the name of the officer but
    said he is a 10 year veteran of the Altavista, Virginia
    Police department.”

    Officer Harless was a ten year veteran too. So are a lot of thses cops who go too far.

    Anyone who takes this officer’s word so easily needs to start collecting their SSI checks. There is no known motivation for her to do what they claim.
    There is however a known an documented reason for cops to wrongfully shhot her and lie. PANIC. Too often, the moment they see a gun, they just start shooting. Even if they are prowling in an innocent person’s back yard.

    And of course their word means nothing and they’d lie to save their ass. Especially if there is no one to challenge their story. And with cops, they could have a 2yo dead and their fellows wouldn’t question the shooting.

    This cop probably saw a gun and paniced. It isn’t like good innocent people have guns afterall.

  • Pigs.

  • Otto Maddox

    Sorry, but an 83 year old with a gun is not the same as a 20 year old.

    It just isn’t. If you don’t understand why I can’t use small enough words to explain it.

    What kind of person shoots an 80-year old person? I am sure these cops could have contained her some other way.

  • Arthur Lockart

    Motivation and positivity are surely the key … one of the major factors influencing motivation is the lack of positivity and confidence. I feel even if things are a bit … i repeat a BIT out of hand positive attitude can help you still stay motivated and targeted. New jobs are not that easy to come by and if by just a slight shift in the way you see things you can help yourself find better work from home employment then why not implement the same in your job as well?