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RICHMOND, Ind.–The man who police say shot Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton Wednesday night has a long criminal record, with offenses that go back to when he was 17 years old, some 30 years, reported our newsgathering partners at WISH TV, who searched court documents in Wayne County.

That record includes drug offenses, resisting law enforcement and multiple traffic violations. He was not legally allowed to have a gun.

His sister told WISH TV’s Richard Essex that Lee had been in a bad mental state, had been on meth and had been up for days.


“The guy they pulled over started shooting and I seen her go down,” described neighbor Steven Day. Another witness, Michelle Partin, saw it from her front porch.

“He fired one shot. It said pop. And then there was a short pause. And then there was pop pop pop pop where RPD returned fire,” she said.

Police have been asking for prayers for their comrade and have posted pictures of Burton and her K-9 partner on their patrol cars and in spots around town to show their support.

“My heart sank. It’s devastating for our community,” said Cathy Hillard, owner of a tavern and childhood friend of Burton’s. She tells WISH TV she believes the community should do what it can to support police and firefighters.

“I just have enjoyed watching her continue to grow into the officer and the woman she is,” said Hillard. “Very sweet, kind and an extremely hard worker and loves her community. Everyone just please pray.”