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Indiana police officer dies 5 weeks after she was shot in the head during a traffic stop

Officer Seara Burton, 28, died Sunday night, the Richmond Police Department said in a statement posted to Facebook.
/ Source: Associated Press

RICHMOND, Ind. — An eastern Indiana police officer has died more than five weeks after she was shot in the head during an August traffic stop, authorities said.

Officer Seara Burton died Sunday night at a Reid Health facility surrounded by her family, the Richmond Police 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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A portrait of Officer Seara Burton and her K-9 partner, Brev outside the Richmond Municipal Building in Richmond, Ind., on Sept. 9. Mike Emery / USA Today Network

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.