9:30 p.m. Statement from GBI: On Friday, September 29, 2017, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was requested by the Polk County Police Department to investigate the shooting of two of their officers.
At approximately 10:56 am, Officer David Goodrich was dispatched to a suspicious vehicle located on Santa Claus Road in Polk County. Goodrich identified the vehicle as being stolen from Tennessee. Detective Kristen Hearne, 29, also arrived on the scene to assist Goodrich. While checking on the vehicle, the two officers made contact with Seth Brandon Spangler, 31, and Samantha Roof, 22, who walked up from a wood line. While the officers were speaking with the two, Spangler pulled a handgun and fired. Goodrich was shot in his bulletproof vest. Hearne was fatally shot multiple times.
Spangler and Roof fled the scene and a search of the area involving local, state, and federal agencies began. Roof was caught a short time later. At approximately 2:48 pm, Spangler appeared out of the woods and was arrested. Spangler and Ruth are charged with murder and aggravated assault. Both are being held in the Polk County Jail.
An autopsy was performed tonight at the GBI Crime Lab in Decatur. Preliminary information indicates that Hearne was shot at least four times. Due to the location of the fatal wound, it is unlikely that a body armor vest would have prevented her death.
Anyone with information concerning the case is asked to call the GBI office in Calhoun at 706-624-1424.
The following agencies responded to the call for assistance: Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Cedartown Police Department, Polk County Fire and Rescue, Polk County EMA, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, Floyd County Police Department, Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, Haralson Paulding Drug Task Force, Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force, Rockmart Police Department, Atlanta Police Department Aviation, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division, Georgia State Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Marshals Service.
From the 5 p.m. GBI Press Conference at Polk County Police Station: The Polk County Officer killed this morning has been identified as 29-year-old Kristen Hearne, a detective and 5-year veteran of the Polk County Police Department. She leaves behind a husband, 3-year-old son and her parents. Prior to joining the PCPD, she was a deputy with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, according to Floyd Sheriff Tim Burkhalter.
“She was a good officer with us. We hated to see her leave and begged her to stay,” says Burkhalter. “She was lovable, friendly and outgoing person. Lots of our folks worked with her and are devastated by it.”
Officer David Goodrich has since been treated and released from the hospital. He has only been with the department about six months.
“It was more or less an ambush,” Polk County police Chief Kenny Dodd said at a news conference Friday. “(Spangler) drew the gun before they knew what happened.”
Hometown Headlines has learned Spangler was naked as he came out of the woods to surrender to authorities. The guess is he wanted to show the arresting officers that he was unarmed.
Also, Roof was arrested quickly after search dogs arrived on the scene.
According to the GBI, Spangler was wanted in Walker County, Ga. on felony probation violations. He is now charged with felony murder and felony aggravated assault. Roof is also facing felony charges. The GBI along with Polk County Police are continuing the investigation.
The GBI reports a
BlueAlertUs has been issued for Seth Brandon Spangler, a white male standing 5 feet 8 inches and weighing 130 pounds, described as having brown eyes and brown hair. He is said to be in the area of 123 Santa Clause Road, Cedartown, and is considered armed and dangerous; do not approach, dial 911.
WRGA reports the incident involved a stolen vehicle and that the GBI has been called in.
FIRST REPORT: A Polk County Police Department officer is dead and another officer wounded in a Friday morning shooting in a remote park of Polk County, according to Andrew Carter of radio station WGAA 1430 AM in Cedartown. The wounded officer was transported to Polk Medical Center for treatment, according to hospital spokesperson Dan Bevels.
The shooting occurred near Santa Claus Road, says Carter.
Hometown is receiving numerous calls and texts about a massive police response from agencies across Northwest Georgia. Lines of police vehicles are reported along U.S. 27 South.
From WRGA: Floyd County police, the sheriff’s office and a K-9 Unit are assisting Polk County police, sheriff’s office and Cedartown Police in the search for suspects in what was reported as the shooting of at Polk County law enforcement officer. A perimeter has been set up in the area of Santa Claus Mountain and John Redding Road, between Cave Spring and Cedartown.
Authorities are searching a wooded area for a male with a backpack. A female is in custody, according to scanner traffic.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Polk County Police had lost two officers in the past. They were:
- Assistant Chief Edward William Jones, Jan. 9, 1970. Automobile crash.
- Policeman William J. Wester, June 26, 1931, gunfire