Ind. officer taken off life support transferred to hospice facility

Seara Burton has been in critical condition since she was shot in the head during an Aug. 10 traffic stop


By Jen Balduf and Daniel Susco
Springfield News-Sun

RICHMOND, Ind. — A Richmond, Indiana, police officer shot in the line of duty is fighting until the end after she was taken off life support on Thursday.

Officer Seara Burton, 28, has been in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital since she was shot in the head during an Aug. 10 traffic stop in Richmond.

Richmond Police Chief Michael Britt on Friday said she remains off life support and that her condition did not change much overnight.

"She is still with us this morning," he posted on social media. "Seara continues to remind us just how strong she is."

Some TV stations reported Thursday afternoon that Burton had died. This prompted a statement a short time later from Britt, who said, "at this time Officer Burton is still alive and surrounded by family."

Cruisers from Richmond and Dayton police and Wayne County ( Indiana) Sheriff's departments lined the streets near the hospital, where officers and deputies gathered in support of Burton and the Richmond Police Department.

Burton's K9 partner Brev, who was not injured, is in the care of a Richmond police investigator who is a former K9 handler.

Richmond police said Wednesday that Burton's injuries were "unrecoverable," but that she will continue to serve others long after her passing.

"Seara will live on and continue to be a hero with her selfless gift of organ donation," the department posted on social media.

Phillip Matthew Lee, 47, is accused of shooting Burton and firing at two other Richmond officers after he was stopped on his moped in the 200 block of North 12th Street as part of a narcotics investigation, the Richmond Palladium-Item reported.

Final arrangements for Burton, a new K9 officer and four-year member of the department, will be announced in the coming days.

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(c)2022 Springfield News-Sun, Ohio Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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