Polk County police Officer Kristin Hearne was fatally shot Friday when she and Officer David Goodrich investigated a car found beside a rural road. Goodrich's bulletproof vest protected him from serious injury. The suspected gunman, 31-year-old Seth Brandon Spangler, was arrested a few hours later after he emerged from a patch of woods and surrendered.
Nicole Smith, of Rockmart, has been a close friend of Hearne's since high school. Smith recalls the 29-year-old officer as "the absolute kindest person anyone would ever meet."
Police Chief Kenny Dodd says Hearne was a five-year veteran of the department who worked hard and loved her job.
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