Seara Burton, police officer from Richmond, Indiana shot during traffic stop, dies

Phillip Lee accused of shooting Richmond Police Department Officer Burton during traffic stop

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022
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Seara Burton, a Richmond police officer shot during an Indiana traffic stop, died at a Reid Health facility. Phillip Lee is charged in her death.

RICHMOND, Ind. -- An eastern Indiana police officer who was shot in the head during a traffic stop in August has died more than two weeks after she was removed from 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 to Facebook.

"We would sincerely like to thank the Richmond community, and those who have supported Seara, her family, and the department from near and far," the statement from several officials said.

Burton was critically wounded in the shooting Aug. 10. The 28-year-old officer was moved to hospice care, two days after she was removed from life support on Sept. 1 at a hospital in Dayton, Ohio.

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Burton's remains were to be escorted by Richmond police and other agencies from the Dayton area on Monday afternoon.

Burton was a four-year veteran of the department in Richmond, about 65 miles east of Indianapolis.

Prosecutors have charged Phillip Matthew Lee, 47, with three counts of attempted murder, three drug possession counts for methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. He has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities have said officers stopped Lee and called Burton to assist with her 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 toward the officers, shooting Burton. Other officers returned fire and he ran away. Lee was apprehended following a brief foot chase.

No other officers were shot.

Lee was treated for gunshot wounds, police said.