Goodbye to a hero | Slain Polk County officer laid to rest

Thousands paid their respects

Friends, family and colleagues said goodbye Tuesday the Polk County police officer who was killed last week in the line of duty.

Mourners packed Victory Baptist Church in Polk County to remember Kristen Hearne.

Hearne was shot and killed on Friday as she assisted an officer on a stolen vehicle call. 

In the funeral services, Hearne was remembered as a woman of deep faith who was dedicated to her job and family.

Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd said the 29-year-old was more like a daughter to him than an employee. Dodd said Hearne was a loving mother to her 3-year-old son.

"He was her entire life," Dodd said. "[Hearne] loved her mother. She was a just a true human being/"

More than 30 law enforcement agencies turned out to pay their respects to Hearne. 

PHOTOS: Officers shot in Polk County

On Monday, prosecutors announced that they'd seek the death penalty against the man accused of shooting Hearne, Seth Brandon Spangler. 

Hearne was responding as a backup officer around 6 a.m. on Friday, when she and another officer, David Goodrich, located a Ford Escape that had been reported stolen out of Tennessee.

While they were at the scene, Spangler, 31, and Samantha Roof, 22, walked out of the woods, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The officers began talking to the two, who they said were acting suspiciously. Suddenly, according to police, Spangler pulled out a handgun and fired at the officers.

Hearne was shot at least four time, and died from her injuries. Goodrich was struck once in his bulletproof vest. 

Roof was apprehended a short time after the shooting. Spangler surrendered to police after a multi-agency manhunt.

Hearne became the first officer in the 60-year history of the Polk County Police Department to die in the line of the duty. She was a graduate of Rockmart High School and had been with the department for five years and had obtained the status of detective.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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