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Richmond Police Officer Burton ‘still with us’ and with family, Richmond mayor says

RICHMOND — Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton, who was removed from life support earlier Thursday, “is still with us” and her family continues to be with her as well, Richmond Mayor David Snow said.

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“I want to take this time to provide some clarity,” the mayor said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. “Earlier today, it was incorrectly shared via media and social media that Officer Seara Burton had passed away. Although she was removed from life-sustaining efforts this morning, she is still with us.”

Mayor Snow said, “we know the time of her passing is imminent; however, right now, her family is spending precious time with her.”

Snow asked the public and media to help the city of Richmond and the police department “maintain calm, respect, and privacy as Officer Burton rests quietly with her family. The situation is changing by the moment.”

Snow said an official update on the officer’s condition will come directly from Police Chief Michael Britt. Then, the mayor said, he will request a public display of mourning.

“I know this is a very difficult time for our community; right now, we all need to give her family as much peace as possible.”

Burton is to donate her organs, Chief Britt has said. According to Sgt. Kyle B. Thomas, Dayton Fraternal Order of Police, an honor walk, which takes place at Miami Valley Hospital before an organ donation procedure, had been completed around noon.

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Nearly every Richmond police officer had come to Miami Valley Hospital by Thursday morning. Dayton police officers escorted them inside. As many as 30 Wayne County sheriff’s deputies also came to the hospital to pay their respects to Burton, who has been with the police department four years.

In a statement released Wednesday from the Richmond Police Department, The officer’s injuries were determined to be “unrecoverable” despite efforts from doctors at Miami Valley Hospital, Burton’s injuries have were determined to be unrecoverable.

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Now, her family is saying their goodbyes.

News Center 7′s Kayla McDermott said final arrangements for Burton would be released in the following days.

“The incredible outpouring of support has been truly heart-warming,” Officer Burton’s family said in a statement.

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On Aug. 10, Burton was responding to a call from other officers to assist with a traffic stop in the area of North 12th Street and C Street in Richmond. During the traffic stop, Burton’s K-9 partner was used to conduct an open-air sniff around the moped and indicated the possible presence of narcotics, according to police.

Police identified the suspect as Phillip Matthew Lee, 47, of Richmond. Police said that as they were speaking with Lee, he pulled a firearm and fired several rounds toward them. Burton was struck by the gunfire. Lee was apprehended and remains in the county jail.

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Correction: An update of this story reported, based on a conversation with Richmond Police Chief Michael Britt, that Officer Seara Burton had died earlier in the day on Thursday. A police department spokesperson then said that as of 2:14 p.m. Thursday, Burton was still alive after she was removed from life support.