Nearly a year after 28-year-old Richmond K9 Officer Seara Burton was killed in the line of duty, the Richmond, Indiana, community is still trying to heal.
Organizers hope a vigil Friday evening on the steps of the City of Richmond Municipal Building will serve as another step along the healing process.
For those attending, the prayer vigil is about remembering the hero Burton was and still is to this community.
Burton was assisting with a traffic stop in Richmond on Aug. 10, 2022, when the suspect, Phillip Lee, allegedly pulled a gun and shot her in the head.
She was rushed to a Dayton hospital, where she stayed for several weeks. After doctors determined that recovery was impossible, she was removed from life support on Sept. 1 but held on until Sept. 18.
Lee is currently scheduled to go on trial in 2025 on multiple charges, including murder. He could potentially receive the death penalty if convicted.
Richmond Mayor Dave Snow hopes Friday’s vigil helps people get to know the Seara Burton behind the officer. Speakers will share their personal connections with Burton, and the city will use the occasion to reveal how it will continue to memorialize her, including a museum exhibit.
“Since this happened with Officer Burton, this community has been unbelievably supportive,” said Snow. “They have surrounded us. They have lifted us. They’ve been here for us in bringing food and offering other supplies and services. And this community has been really united.
“Sierra would have been really impressed and humbled to see the way she united this community.”