Richmond, IN – Richmond Police Department (RPD) Officer Seara Burton died in the line of duty on Thursday after being shot in the head during a traffic stop three weeks earlier.
“Despite the very best efforts of all the doctors and nurses at Miami Valley Hospital, Officer Seara Burton’s injuries have been determined to be unrecoverable,” Maj. Bales said. “Tomorrow, Thursday, September 1, 2022, Seara will be taken off of life support.”
The heroic officer “will live on and continue to be a hero with her selfless gift of organ donation,” he added.
The events leading up to the shooting began at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 10, after police stopped a man who was riding a moped in the area of C Street and North 12th Street, Clay County News reported.
The man operating the moped was later identified as 47-year-old Phillip Lee, WTHR reported.
During the investigation, Officer Burton and her partner, K9 Brev, responded to conduct an “open-air sniff” of the moped, according to Indiana State Police (ISP).
Investigators said the K9 indicated the possible presence of narcotics during the sniff, WTHR reported.
Officers were speaking with Lee when he suddenly pulled out a gun and opened fire on them, an ISP spokesperson told reporters.
Officer Burton was hit in the head by the gunfire and other officers at the scene immediately returned fire, the ISP said.
Lee took off running and was apprehended after a brief foot pursuit.
Officers provided first aid for his gunshot wounds before he was transported to Reid Hospital in Richmond by ambulance, WTHR reported.
Lee, a convicted felon who police described as a known drug dealer, has been charged with multiple offenses, to include two counts of attempted murder, WXIN reported.
Police said Lee was carrying a 9mm handgun, seven syringes, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine at the time of his arrest.
Officer Burton was rushed to a local hospital before being airlifted to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio in extremely critical condition, RPD Chief Michael Britt said.
She spent the next three weeks fighting for her life.
“The police department is obviously devastated,” Chief Britt said, according to WTHR. “She’s a fine officer, and we have a family environment here.”
Officer Burton served the RPD for four years, according to Clay County News.
She recently became a member of the department’s K9 Unit and she and K9 Brev graduated from training in April, WTHR reported.
Richmond Mayor Dave Snow described Officer Burton as “a tremendous” public servant, WTHR reported.
The shooting occurred less than two weeks before Officer Burton was scheduled to be married.
Her fiancé, Sierra Neal, wore a white wedding gown and carried a bouquet of flowers to Officer Burton’s bedside at the hospital on what should have been their wedding day.
“This walk was supposed to look a lot different, but I will always be thankful we still got to celebrate,” Neal wrote in a video caption on TikTok. “Even if it is not legal on paper, you are my wife. I love you Seara.”
Friends, family, and members of law enforcement leave Miami Valley hospital after an honor walk for officer Seara Burton. She was taken off life support early this morning. @Mamie247now is at the scene. pic.twitter.com/JdiVsm64zd
— Dayton 24/7 Now (@dayton247now) September 1, 2022
The Richmond Police Department has put out Ofc. Seara Burton’s police cruiser outside the city building. People are starting to stop by and bring flowers in her memory. @WTHRcom pic.twitter.com/56Z5vr3EeX
— Lauren Kostiuk (@laurenkostiuk_) September 1, 2022
Our hearts are very heavy once again. Please keep Officer Seara Burton’s family, friends, and all of our brothers and sisters at Richmond PD in your prayers. We have lost another hero. #EnoughIsEnough #WeWillTakeItFromHere pic.twitter.com/4xs1X1PnqC
— Noblesville Police (@NoblesvillePD) August 31, 2022
A prayer board, signs and the American Flag flying at half-staff honor Richmond Officer Seara Burton. Our sister station in Dayton reports an honor walk, including LEO, has wrapped. She will be taken off life support today, 3 weeks after she was shot in the line of duty. pic.twitter.com/lA8vsBxxC4
— Courtney Spinelli (@CourtSpinelliTV) September 1, 2022
JUST IN | Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton has died. Sources tell WRTV she was taken off life support today after suffering a critical injury in a shooting three weeks ago. She had been scheduled to marry her fiancée last month. Burton was 28 years old. pic.twitter.com/h5pydbOkCX
— WRTV Indianapolis (@wrtv) September 1, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Richmond Police Department Officer Seara Burton, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Seara Burton, your life mattered.
The post Hero Down: Richmond Police Department Officer Seara Burton Murdered By Gunman appeared first on The Police Tribune.
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Author: Holly Matkin
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