Richmond police officer shot during still-critical traffic stop, ‘fighting for his life,’ chief says – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio

Richmond police officer shot during traffic stop in critical condition, suspect identified

RICHMOND – UPDATE 9:07 p.m. (Aug. 11): Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton, who was shot during a traffic stop Wednesday night, remains in critical condition and is “showing mild signs of response,” said Richmond Police Chief Michael Britt. in an update posted on social media Thursday night.

Officer Burton has not regained consciousness following surgery, the chief said, noting that the officer was shot in the head.

>> RELATED: Richmond police officer shooting leaves city stunned

“As you can imagine, this event was traumatic not only for Off.[sic] Burton but to the many officers who responded to the scene to help where they could. Our sister in blue’s critical wound was not easy to see. I have elected to temporarily reassign most of the officers involved in the incident to other duties, along with the EAP to pick up,” said Chief Britt.

The city is well protected, he said, assuring residents that they will have a police response when needed. Along with the Indiana State Police handling the scene and investigation, their command staff committed to assigning a group of ISP troopers to the city of Richmond to augment the police department’s responses during the next few days, he said.

“If emergency services are needed, please don’t be surprised to see an officer show up,” Chief Britt said. “Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter and his agency have also committed personnel to the city to ensure full coverage of the needs of our citizens. The City of Richmond will still have plenty of law enforcement while we sort things out,” he said.

Phillip Matthew Lee, 47, the accused shooter, remains in the Wayne County (Indiana) Jail on multiple firearms charges and two counts of attempted murder.

FIRST REPORT (Aug. 10): A Richmond police officer remains in critical condition after being shot during a traffic stop Wednesday night, the third officer in the area shot in the line of duty in less than a month The suspected shooter was also shot and hospitalized after the incident, according to investigators.

>> Richmond officer, third local officer shot in the line of duty in less than a month

Seara Burton, 28 and a four-year veteran of the Richmond Police Department, was identified as the officer who was shot Wednesday around 6:30 p.m. the Indiana State Police Pendleton Post confirmed.

>> PHOTOS: Richmond police officer critically injured after being shot during traffic stop

“We need this community to pray for her. I ask that you pray for the officer,” Richmond Police Chief Michael Britt told News Center 7’s Brandon Lewis and other media gathered near the scene of the shooting Wednesday night.

Police say Burton was responding to a call from other officers to assist with a traffic stop in the area of ​​North 12th Street and C Street. Burton located the vehicle, which was a moped driven by a man, and conducted a traffic stop at the scene.

During the traffic stop, Burton’s K-9 partner was used to sniff the open air around the moped and indicated the possible presence of narcotics, according to police. The suspect was identified by police as Phillip Matthew Lee, 47, of Richmond.

>> Local law enforcement offers prayers for Richmond police officer shot during traffic stop

While officers were speaking with Lee, he allegedly pulled out a firearm and fired several rounds at the officers, police said. Burton was hit by a gunshot.

Other officers at the scene returned fire and Lee ran, according to police. After a brief foot chase, Lee was taken into custody and treated for gunshot wounds by officers. He was later taken by ambulance to Reid Hospital in Richmond.

Lee is in custody and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office will determine charges after reviewing the case, police confirmed.

ISP, which has taken over the investigation, does not know what led to the traffic stop, Indiana State Police Sgt. Scott Keegan said.

Chief Britt said there were still many facts to be determined, but noted that it is “not a common occurrence” for Richmond police officers to be shot in the line of duty.

He called Officer Burton, a K-9 handler, “a good officer” who is engaged and getting married, “I think, next weekend.”

Mayor Dave Snow, who also attended the media conference, said “this is a busy afternoon in our community. [Officer Burton] He has worked hard for this community.”

“This will not be tolerated,” he said of the shooting.

News Center 7 will continue to update this story as we learn more.

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