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Officer Seara Burton moved to hospice facility in Richmond after being removed from life support

Seara Burton
seara burton.png
seara 2018 swear in
Seara Burton
Seara Burton
Posted at 5:11 PM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 10:32:29-04

RICHMOND — Richmond police officer Seara Burton was removed from life support Thursday, according to Richmond police.

"Seara will live on and continue to be a hero with her selfless gift of organ donation. Officer Burton will continue to serve others long after her passing. Final arrangements for Officer Burton will be released in the coming days," Richmond Police said in a release issued Wednesday.

Burton was honored Thursday as officers and hospital staff lined the hallway for her honor walk before becoming an organ donor.

Seara Burton Honor Walk

On Saturday morning, Richmond Police said in a Facebook update that Burton was still alive and her condition "is still largely unchanged."

Later Saturday afternoon, the police department said Burton was transferred to a hospice facility in Richmond.

"Officer Seara Burton has been transferred from the Intensive Care Unit at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton to a hospice facility in the Richmond area today," the statement read. "She will continue receiving excellent care and be surrounded by her family. 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 August 10, Burton responded to assist other officers with a traffic stop near North 12th Street and C Street in Richmond.

Burton stopped a man riding a moped and used her K-9 partner, Brev, to conduct an open-air sniff. Brev alerted to the possible presence of narcotics.

Seara Burton
Seara Burton

While officers were talking with the suspect, the driver of the moped opened fire, striking Burton.

Burton is a 2012 graduate of Northeastern High School in Fountain City and a four-year veteran of the Richmond Police Department.

Former teachers of Burton shared memories of her time walking the halls of the schools in Northeastern Wayne Schools and playing basketball as a member of the Northeastern Knights basketball program.

“Seara was a fierce competitor. I enjoyed watching her play on the basketball court,” Janel Wetzel said. “She was a gifted athlete that had an amazing work ethic.”

Seara Burton
Seara Burton

READ MORE | Man accused of shooting Richmond Officer Seara Burton also fired at 2 other cops, court docs allege

After high school, Burton went into law enforcement.

seara 2018 swear in
Seara Burton is sworn into the Richmond Police Department on August 6, 2018.

“I am not surprised Seara was in law enforcement,” fifth-grade teacher Sarah Moore said. “She was a sweet little girl, who always had a smile. She was a great friend to others and could always hold her own.”

Burton recently became a K-9 handler for the department. She and her K-9 trained at Von Liche Kennels in Denver, Indiana.

She was the first female K-9 handler in the city’s history.

Burton and her fiancée Sierra Neal were scheduled to be married on August 19. Neal marked that day by wearing a wedding dress to visit Burton in the hospital.

In their release, the police department said "Seara’s family wanted to include the community in sharing this information. The incredible outpouring of support has been truly heartwarming. We ask that you please respect their privacy during this time. The Chief’s office will put out more information once it becomes available."

CORRECTION: A previous version of our story stated that Seara Burton had died. According to a member of the Fraternal Order of Police in Ohio Seara was removed from life support. There has been no confirmation that she was pronounced deceased.