By Mary Kekatos, Daily Mail
A police officer shot and killed in Georgia after responding to reports of a suspicious vehicle was a mother and a five-year veteran of the force.
Detective Kristen Hearne, 29, was killed on Friday in Polk County, leaving behind a husband and a three-year-old son.
A second officer, David Goodrich, a rookie, was shot in his bulletproof vest and survived, officials said.
Two suspects, 31-year-old Seth Brandon Spangler and 22-year-old Samantha Roof, were arrested after attempting to flee.
(The officier who was killed has been identified as 29-year-old detective Kristen Hearne. Courtesy of WSB-TV and YouTube. Posted on Sep 29, 2017)
Hearne’s husband, Matt, said she was a devoted wife and mother to their son, Issac, and was always helping her family and community.
‘She died a hero doing what she loved to do,’ he told WSB-TV.
Like his wife, Matt is a law enforcement officer – a lieutenant with the Aragon Police Department.
He was off-duty when he received the news that his wife was shot.
‘It’s something nobody should ever have to go through. But I want [Issac] to grow up knowing that his mom loved him unconditionally.’
‘One of the best women who ever walked the face of this earth,’ he said.
Officials say the officers were responding to a call around 11am about a suspicious vehicle and located a Ford Escape stolen from Tennessee on the side of the road.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan said the suspects, Spangler and Roof, walked out of the woods and up to the officers.
A conversation ensued, after which Spangler allegedly pulled out a handgun and shot both officers, Keenan said.
Goodrich was hit in his bulletproof vest and was able to return fire, Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd said.
Hearne, a detective, was in plainclothes – a polo shirt and khakis – and wasn’t wearing a bulletproof vest.
Spangler was wanted on outstanding Walker County warrants for probation violation, Keenan said.
Georgia Department of Corrections records show Spangler was released from prison in August 2016.
He had been serving time for convictions on a 2011 charge of cruelty to children as well as criminal counts added in 2015 for methamphetamine possession and possession of drugs by a prisoner.
Spangler surrendered to officers several hours later after a manhunt. He wasn’t wearing any clothes when he was arrested.
He has been charged with felony murder and felony aggravated assault.
Roof has also been charged with felony offenses, the details of which have not been released.
Hearne began her career in law enforcement nearly a decade ago but had been serving in Polk County for five years.
‘The pain is deep. The hurt is deep. The sorrow is deep. But she lives on within us,’ Matt said.
(Courtesy of Law Enforcement Today .com and YouTube)
Editor’s note: Our condolences to the Polk County Police Department. Our thoughts and prayers are with Detective Hearne’s family, and with Officer Goodrich while he recovers. May you rest in peace Detective.