POLK COUNTY, Ga. — The Polk County police officer shot and killed Friday was a five-year police veteran and the mother of a 3-year-old boy.
Detective Kristen Hearne, 29, is the first officer to be killed in the line of duty in the history of the Polk County Police Department.
Channel 2’s Matt Johnson was at a late-afternoon news conference Friday as the department’s police chief spoke about how the small department is still trying to make sense of a huge loss.
“It's a very sad day for the Polk County Police Department and the citizens of Polk County,” Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said accused killer Seth Spangler was captured off Cave Springs Road in Cedartown after a massive manhunt involving multiple agencies.
- Who is Seth Spangler, alleged gunman in shooting of two officers?
- Suspect in custody after 2 officers shot, 1 killed in Polk County
- Man killed in hit-and-run in Home Depot parking lot
“Kristen was the type officer to light up whatever room she was in. You always knew when she was in. (She was) hardworking, dedicated, loved her job. She leaves behind a husband, mother, father and 3-year-old son,” Dodd said.
Hearne was the backup officer in the incident and wasn't wearing a bulletproof vest when she went to assist with a suspicious vehicle that was later determined to be stolen.
“I have no idea why he (Spangler) thought that it was worth taking the life of a police officer just doing her job. I have no words for that. It's a senseless killing,” Dodd said.
The chief said investigators don't typically wear bulletproof vests throughout the day. The other officer was shot in the vest and is out of the hospital, recovering.
In this case, police say, Hearne heard the call and went to help on her own because she knew the officer out there had only been on the job for six months.
Cox Media Group