Indiana officer dies 5 weeks after she was shot at traffic stop
RICHMOND, Ind. (WXIX) - An Indiana police officer has died, five weeks after she was shot in the head and critically injured in the line of duty at a traffic stop.
Richmond Police K9 Officer Seara Burton passed away surrounded by her family at Reid Health at 9:59 p.m. Sunday, Richmond Police Chief Michael Britt announced in a prepared statement overnight.
Officer Burton was 28 years old and joined the police department four years ago.
She was gunned down on Aug. 10, nine days before she was supposed to get married.
Officer Burton was hospitalized for three weeks at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. Her injuries were described as “unrecoverable” and she was removed from life support on Sept. 1.
She was moved to a hospice facility on Sept. 3. Police updates described her as “amazing” as she battled the odds.
“Seara continues to fight and show her strength,” reads a Sept. 15 update from the police department on Facebook. “Please keep up the thoughts and prayers.
Final arrangements are pending and will be announced when the details are available, according to the chief.
“We would sincerely like to thank the Richmond community, and those who have supported Seara, her Family, and the Department from near and far,” he wrote.
“Thank you to all of those who have shown unbelievable support throughout this very difficult time including the Dayton Police Department, The Indiana State Police, Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police, Richmond Fire Department and Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, as well as many other agencies.
“The family is extremely grateful for the massive amount of support from the community. We kindly ask that you respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb released a statement Monday morning about Officer Burton.
“Our hearts are heavy as we grieve alongside Officer Seara Burton’s family, colleagues, loved ones and the Richmond community she so nobly served. Officer Burton dedicated four years and her life to the Richmond Police Department and lived the oath she took to serve and protect to the fullest.
“Janet and I send our condolences to Officer Burton’s family and loved ones as they search for peace and strength from a power greater than all we can muster.”
On Monday, the Richmond Police Department along with multiple other agencies will escort Officer Burton’s remains back home from Dayton.
The escort is set to leave the Dayton area at 1:30 p.m. and travel:
- North on Interstate 75 onto westbound I-70
- Once the escort reaches Richmond it will follow U.S. 40 from the interstate to North 5th Street (passing Officer Burton’s police car at the city building)
- Then it will proceed onto East Main Street and back to U.S. 40 to Doan & Mills Funeral Home, 790 West National Rd., Richmond.
“If you wish to show your support for the family of Officer Seara Burton and the Richmond Police Department, please find a location that is safe along the route. Remember not to stop or park along the interstate,” the chief wrote.
The suspect charged with her shooting, 47-year-old Phillip M. Lee of Richmond, is held on a $1.5 million bond at an Indiana jail.
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