Nude man ar­rested af­ter of­fi­cer’s killing

The Dallas Morning News - - Nation -

CEDARTOWN, Ga. — Two po­lice of­fi­cers were shot, one of them fa­tally, when a man walked out of the woods Fri­day and opened fire as the of­fi­cers in­ves­ti­gated a stolen car found be­side a road in ru­ral Ge­or­gia, au­thor­i­ties said.

Thirty-one-year-old Seth Bran­don Span­gler was ar­rested a few hours later af­ter he again emerged from a patch of woods — this time wear­ing no clothes — and sur­ren­dered, said Polk County Po­lice Chief Kenny Dodd.

Dodd said Span­gler had been wanted for a pro­ba­tion vi­o­la­tion in a neigh­bor­ing county. Now he faces felony mur­der and ag­gra­vated as­sault charges in the slay­ing of Polk County po­lice Of­fi­cer Kristin Hearne and the shoot­ing of Of­fi­cer David Goodrich, whose bul­let­proof vest pro­tected him from se­ri­ous in­jury.

“This was ob­vi­ously not his first run-in with the law,” Dodd said at a news con­fer­ence. “I have no idea why he thought it was worth the life of a po­lice of­fi­cer who was just do­ing her job. It’s a sense­less killing.”

Goodrich had gone to in­ves­ti­gate a re­port of a stolen ve­hi­cle just be­fore 11 a.m., and Hearne came as backup. Span­gler and Saman­tha Roof, 22, walked out of a wooded area to­ward the of­fi­cers. When the of­fi­cers be­gan talk­ing to them, they acted sus­pi­ciously and Span­gler pulled out a hand­gun and shot both of­fi­cers, said Ver­non Keenan, di­rec­tor of the Ge­or­gia Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Span­gler and Roof ran away, and a man­hunt en­sued. Roof was quickly ar­rested and Span­gler sur­ren­dered hours later, Keenan said.

“He came out of the woods with no clothes on and just gave him­self up,” Dodd said. “So we are cur­rently out there with ca­nines search­ing for ar­ti­cles of cloth­ing.”

Roof will also face felony charges, Keenan said.

Goodrich, af­ter be­ing hit in his bul­let­proof vest, was able to re­turn fire, Dodd said. Hearne, a de­tec­tive, was in plain­clothes — a polo shirt and khakis — and wasn’t wear­ing a bul­let­proof vest.

“It’s not com­mon for an in­ves­ti­ga­tor to wear a vest all day at work,” Dodd said. “It may be a pol­icy we need to re­think.”

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