Remembering Seara Burton: Hero cop shot 9 days before wedding dies surrounded by family after life support turned off
RICHMOND, INDIANA- A K-9 officer who was shot in the head on duty, nine days before her wedding, was showing faint signs of life after being taken off life support on Thursday, September 1, police said. Richmond Police Chief Michael Britt said in a statement that Seara Burton, 28, was still alive and surrounded by family. She was shifted to an operating room to donate her organs.
The Richmond police officer was the city's first female K-9 officer. She was shot on August 10 while trying to assist officers with a potentially drug-related traffic stop, a police statement read. The 28-year-old was accompanied by her K-9 partner when the incident happened, as per WTHR.
Police said that the Richmond Police Narcotics Unit allegedly saw Phillip Lee, 47, stop at a garage where they thought a transaction of drugs has taken place. The authorities stopped Lee on the 200 Block of North 12th Street, and Burton came around 6.30 pm with her four-legged partner, Brev. She made Brev conduct an open-air sniff on Lee which showed the presence of narcotics, according to Fox 19 The outlet reported that while the officers were talking to Lee, he took out a gun and shot Burton, after which he tried to flee as officers opened fire.
Britt said that Burton was taken to Miami Valley Hospital, Ohio, in critical condition, in a release on August 18. Seara was a four-year veteran of the department who had recently become a K-9 Officer.
On Wednesday, August 31, police announced that Seara would be taken off of life support on Thursday, September 1. Britt, Major Jon Bales and Major Aly Tonuc said in the statement, "Her injuries have been determined to be unrecoverable."
Meanwhile, Seara's fiancée Sierra Neal visited the hospital wearing her wedding dress. She shared a TikTok video, and wrote "This walk was supposed to look a lot different, but I will always be thankful we still got to celebrate," adding, "Even if it is not legal on paper, you are my wife. I love you Seara."
Dayton 247 Now reported that on September 1, police officers, hospital staff and Seara's loved ones held an honor walk for her as she was being taken from the ICU to the operating room for organ donation. Chief Britt said, "Seara will live on and continue to be a hero with her selfless gift of organ donation. Officer Burton will continue to serve others long after her passing."