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Police officer shot during drugs stop just days before her wedding is taken off life support

Police officer shot during drugs stop just days before her wedding is taken off life support

Officer Seara Burton was shot in the head by Phillip Lee during a drug-related traffic stop in Richmond, Indiana

A police officer in Indiana who was shot just days before she was supposed to get married has now been taken off life support. 

Officer Seara Burton, 28, was due to get married to partner Sierra Neal last month, but nine days before the happy occasion, she was tragically shot in the head during a drugs-related traffic stop and rushed to hospital. 

Last Thursday (25 August), after doctors confirmed she would not survive her injuries, the tough decision was made to take Burton off life support before transferring her to a hospice. 

As of yesterday morning, she was still fighting for her life, according to Richmond Police Department. 

The force said: “Despite the very best efforts of all the doctors and nurses at Miami Valley Hospital, Officer Seara Burton’s injuries have been determined to be unrecoverable. 

“Seara will live on and continue to be a hero with her selfless gift of organ donation.” 

Seara Burton.
Richmond Police Department

RPD Major Jon Bales added: “The family is grateful for all of the community support but does request privacy at this time.  

“Please be respectful of the family’s wishes while they spend this precious time with Seara.” 

On 10 August, Burton and her unit were called out to North 12th Street after Richmond Narcotics Unit saw Phillip Lee, 47, stop at a garage where it was believed a drug deal was taking place. 

Burton and her police dog Brev conducted a sniff test on Lee and his moped, with the dog indicating that narcotics were present – at which point Lee pulled out his gun. 

He fired multiple times and hit Burton.

Phillip Lee.
Richmond Police Department

After he fled on foot, officers caught up with Lee and shot him.

Burton – a four-year veteran of the force and Richmond's first female K-9 officer – was taken to hospital before being airlifted to Dayton. 

After Lee was also taken to hospital, he appeared in court virtually on 19 August, the same day Burton and Neal were supposed to get married. 

The next day, Neal posted a poignant TikTok video that showed her marrying Burton in her hospital room, writing: “This walk was supposed to look a lot different, but I will always be thankful we still got to celebrate. Even if it is not legal on paper, you are my wife. I love you Seara." 

In the footage, Neal can be seen walking through the hospital in a wedding gown as staff line the corridors, arriving at Burton’s bedside. 

Lee was charged with attempted murder, unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and drug charges. 

After pleading not guilty, he is being held on a $1.5 million bond. 

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Featured Image Credit: Richmond Police Department

Topics: US News, Police