Indiana police officer ‘fighting for her life’ after traffic stop shooting; suspect hospitalized

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An Indiana police officer is “fighting for her life” after she was shot during a traffic stop that also left the suspected shooter wounded on Wednesday evening, authorities said.


Richmond Police K-9 Officer Seara Burton, 28, was seriously wounded during the shooting that unfolded around 6:30 p.m. near North 12th Street and C Street, Richmond Police Chief Mike Britt said.
“My officer is in very critical condition, fighting for her life,” Britt told reporters Wednesday night. “Those of you who pray I ask that you pray for her because she could use it.”


Burton, a four-year veteran of the department, was assisting other officers with the traffic stop of a moped, which was being driven by a male whom authorities later identified as 47-year-old Phillip M. Lee, Indiana State Police said.


Burton’s K-9 partner Brev conducted an open-air sniff around a moped and indicated the possible presence of narcotics, police said.
While officers spoke with Lee, he allegedly pulled out a firearm and fired multiple shots toward officers.


After Burton was struck, police said the other officers returned fire. Lee fled the scene on foot, leading officers on a brief foot chase before getting caught.
Officers treated Lee for gunshot wounds before he was taken to Reid Hospital.
Burton was rushed to a local hospital before getting airlifted to a hospital in Dayton, Ohio, police said. No update on her condition was immediately available.
Britt said Burton was recently elevated to the position of K-9 handler and is engaged to be married next weekend.


While Lee has been arrested on probable cause, the Wayne County Prosecutor will determine actual criminal charges upon review of the case.
Indiana State Police is investigating the shooting at the request of the Richmond Police Department.

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