RICHMOND – In the midst of heartbreak and tragedy, there is a sense of togetherness in the small town of Richmond as people come together to support an officer who was shot in the line of duty.
“Everybody knows everybody,” Brittney Willis said.
Willis is just one of many workers at Firehouse BBQ in the heart of Richmond who said Officer Seara Burton is frequent visitor to their restaurant.
“She has always been a sweet girl,” Willis said. “She has always been very nice and very polite.”
“Everybody constantly talks about how great she is,” Hannah Coyle said. “My Facebook has been flooded with messages about how awesome she is and how great of an officer she is.”
Burton was shot in during a traffic stop Wednesday evening in Richmond. She is currently in critical condition in a Dayton, Ohio hospital.
Richmond residents all agree that Burton is brave, strong and loves the community she serves.
“She’s got a life outside of that uniform too,” Toni Stephen said. “Officers serve the community, but outside of that uniform she has animals, family and friends. She is just one of us.”
Through the darkness, there is light.
“Everybody has been so brought together,” Coyle said.
Throughout the city there are signs of support with thin blue lines and pictures of Burton – who many in the community call a hero.
More than just signs and pictures, some in the community are rallying to raise money to donate to Burton and her family. The Richmond City Employees Federal Credit Union is collecting money as well to donate.
The Richmond community will hold a prayer vigil for Burton on Friday night. It is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. near the south entrance to the city building.
Those attending are asked to wear blue.