Nude man arrested after officer’s killing
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.”