An eastern Indiana police officer who was shot in the head during a traffic stop in August has died more than two weeks after being taken off life support, authorities said.
Richmond Police Department officer Seara Burton died Sunday night at a Reid Health Facility surrounded by her family, the department said in a statement posted on Facebook.
“We would like to sincerely thank the community of Richmond and those who have supported Seara, her family and the department from near and far,” the statement from multiple officials read.
Burton was seriously injured in the August 10 shooting. The 28-year-old officer was transferred to a hospice care facility, two days after being taken off life support on September 1 at a hospital in Dayton, Ohio.
Burton’s remains were escorted by Richmond police and other Dayton-area agencies to a Richmond funeral home on Monday afternoon, WISH-TV reported.
Burton was a four-year veteran of the Richmond Department, about 65 miles east of Indianapolis.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said he and his wife, Janet, are grieving along with Burton’s family, colleagues and the Richmond community, saying in a statement that “our hearts are heavy.”
“Janet and I send our condolences to Officer Burton’s family and loved ones as they seek peace and strength from a power greater than all we can muster,” he said.
Prosecutors have charged Phillip Matthew Lee, 47, with three counts of attempted murder, three counts of drug possession for methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon . He pleaded not guilty.
A message seeking comment on whether Lee should now face a murder charge was left at the Wayne County District Attorney’s office Monday morning by The Associated Press.
Authorities said officers arrested Lee and called Burton to help with his police dog. The dog indicated the possible presence of narcotics. Court documents say that while officers were speaking with the rider, he pulled out a gun and opened fire at officers, shooting Burton. Other officers returned fire and he fled. Lee was apprehended after a brief foot chase.
No other officers were shot.
Lee was treated for gunshot wounds, police said.