This morning, Officer Kristen Hearne was serving as backup to Officer David Goodrich in an investigation of a suspicious vehicle on Santa Claus Road near Highway 100 between Cedartown and Cave Spring. Seth Spangler and Samantha Roof came out of the woods and began having words with the officers. At some point, Spangler pulled out a handgun and shot both officers. Officer Goodrich was wearing a bulletproof vest and survived the shooting. Officer Hearne, a detective, was not wearing a vest at the time of the shooting. Officer Goodrich was a retired EMT and tried to administer first aid to Officer Hearne. Unfortunately Officer Hearne did not survive the shooting.
Kristen Hearne was 29 years old and a mother to a a three year old child. She also leaves behind a husband. Hearne was a detective with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Polk County Police Department. According to officials, it’s not routine for an investigator to wear a vest. Hearne was going out just as a backup for Goodrich.
After a search that involved several different agencies, Seth Spangler was arrested after walking out of the woods, naked, and dirty. He has been charged with felony murder. Spangler has already had bond denied. His next appearance in Superior Court has not been scheduled.
Spangler had outstanding warrants out of Walker County for probation violations. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations is working with Polk County police during this investigation.
Officer Kristen Hearne was the first officer to lose their life in the line of duty in Polk County. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hearne family and to all of our officers that selflessly put their lives on the line everyday to keep us all safe.