Richmond Police Chief Mike Britt asked for prayers for the four-year officer who was in “very critical condition” after being shot Wednesday night during a traffic stop, saying the department is devastated.
The suspect fired multiple shots before being chased and apprehended, said ISP Sgt. Scott Keegan, nothing the suspect also was shot.
Keegan emphasized there is no danger to the public at this time since there was only one suspect involved.
Britt expressed gratitude for a couple of prayer groups that came to the scene. Concerned neighbors also gathered in the grass and on sidewalks outside the crime scene tape.
K-9 Officer Seara Burton, 28, who is engaged and is to be married soon, was flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, after the incident at North 12th and C streets.
Britt said Burton has been a fantastic officer for the department and had been elevated to the K9 handler position.
He said it was heartwarming to see the whole department turn out in uniforms despite whatever they were doing to do police work and support Burton and their police family.
Britt said four off-duty officers were on motorcycles in their way to a function and once they learned about Burton’s injuries, they immediately headed to Miami Valley to wait on her arrival.
Britt said the officers have been emotionally injured by Wednesday’s events. He said he was overwhelmed by the support immediately shown and was very appreciative.
Northeastern Schools Superintendent Matthew Hicks tweeted that Burton is a 2012 alumna, and said thoughts and prayers are being sent to Burton, her family and her colleagues.
More information about what led to the traffic stop was not immediately available.
The suspect also was seriously injured and was taken to Miami Valley. Officers chased the suspect before the apprehension. An identity was not released.
No other officers were injured. RPD is budgeted for 76 officers but is a little shorthanded, Britt said.
Indiana State Police is overseeing the investigation. If residents have any information to share that could be helpful, they are urged to call ISP.
ISP Sgt. Scott Keegan led the 9:35 p.m. press conference to share details, with assistance from Britt and Richmond Mayor Dave Snow.
Snow said violence and repugnant behavior would not be tolerated in the city and asked for the community to come together to support Burton and all of RPD as the investigation moves forward.
Snow called it a “heavy evening in our community” and called Burton a tremendous officer.
Police cars representing various agencies lined the surrounding blocks to the north as the investigation continued with bright light fixtures placed in the street. Richmond Power and Light was still on scene around 11 p.m., adding more large lights.
A drone flew overhead earlier as well as a helicopter, although it was not immediately known if it was a police vehicle.
ISP had a very heavy presence. One person was seen in an ATF T-shirt.
Late in the evening, police assisted neighborhood residents who wanted to return to their homes. Crime tape blocked entry to the sidewalk in front of several homes.
Dayton and Indianapolis TV crews also were on the scene.
They noted the last couple of weeks have been especially rough days for area officers since some of their colleagues in nearby communities have died in the line of duty.
Some area departments, including Richmond, sent representatives to the funeral procession for Elwood, Indiana, police officer Officer Noah Shahnavaz on Aug. 6. Shahnavaz died after being shot during a July 31 traffic stop.
In Clark County, Ohio, Deputy Matthew Yates, a 15-year veteran with the department, died July 24 after being shot inside a mobile home while on duty.