RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) — 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.

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

FILE – Evidence markers dot the scene, Aug. 10, 2022, on Richmond, Ind., where Richmond Police Department Officer Seara Burton was critically wounded and a man was injured in a shootout following a traffic stop.(Mike Emery/The Palladium-Item via AP, File)

Burton was a four-year veteran of the department in Richmond, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) east of Indianapolis.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said he and his wife, Janet, are mourning 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 search for 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 drug possession counts for methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. He has pleaded not guilty.

A message seeking comment on whether Lee was now expected to face a murder charge was left Monday morning for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office by The Associated Press.

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.

Governor Eric Holcomb provided a statement on the passing of 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.”

The following was posted on the Richmond Police Department Facebook page early Monday morning:

MEDIA RELEASE
September 18, 2022

It is with profound sadness that we announce that Officer Seara Burton #140/K9-2 passed away at 9:59 p.m. tonight at Reid Health surrounded by her family. She succumbed to the injury she received in a criminal act that occurred on August 10th, 2022.

Final arrangements are pending and will be announced when the details are available. Please join us in keeping Seara and her family in our thoughts and prayers.

We would sincerely like to thank the Richmond community, and those who have supported Seara, her Family, and the Department from near and far. 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.

Respectfully,

Chief Michael Britt
Major Jon Bales
Major Aly Tonuc