APD air unit helped find man accused of shooting Polk County officers

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APD air unit helped find man accused of shooting Polk County officers

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Kristen Hearne served in Polk County for five years.

The Atlanta Police Department helped find the man accused of shooting Kristen Hearne, the first Polk County law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty.

APD’s air unit, Phoenix, was called to assist the Polk County Sheriff's Office in the intensive manhunt in rural northwest Georgia late last month, APD said on Facebook Thursday. 

About two hours into the aerial search, the unit — which included Sgt. James Hoos and Officer Patrick Magrum — saw what appeared to be the suspect coming out of the woods towards two officers, the post said. After the officers alerted authorities, several units responded and took the wanted suspect into custody.

Hoos and Magrum’s teamwork resulted in the apprehension of a “violent felon,” APD said. “Their professionalism and dedication to the job has proven they are a valuable asset to the City of Atlanta Police Department.”

Seth Brandon Spangler, 31, is accused of the Sept. 29 shooting of Hearne and rookie Polk County police officer David Goodrich, who had responded to a report of a stolen car out of Tennessee. 

Spangler was arrested about 2:45 p.m. — completely naked, with dirt on his face. He and a second suspect, Samantha Roof, 22, were charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. 

Hearne was shot at least four times and taken to a local hospital, where she later died. She leaves behind a husband, Matt Hearne, and their 3-year-old son Isaac. 

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