Family of slain Polk County officer remember her as a hero

The family of a Polk County officer who was gunned down Friday morning says they will remember her as a hero and as someone trying to make a difference.

Detective Kristin Hearne, 29, was helping a rookie officer on a stolen vehicle call along Santa Claus Road near Parrish Road just before 6 a.m. Police then said a man and woman walked out of the woods. A spokesperson for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Seth Brandon Spangler, 31, spoke briefly with Hearne and Officer David Goodrich before he unexpectedly opened fire, striking both officers.

Officer Hearne's mother Trish Brewer was diagnosed with cancer and says her daughter was always there for her. She wants to send this message to the suspects.

"I know God is just and has mercy. He says we are to forgive. It's not that I can't forgive but he took my daughter...I want him to rot in hell," Brewer said.

Detective Kristen Hearne, a veteran of Polk County Police Department for five years. she's being remembered as a committed public servant, caring wife and devoted mother to her three-year-old son Isaac.

Her husband Matt Kearne is a lieutenant with the Aragon Police Department.

"His mom was one of the greatest women to ever walk the face of this earth and one of the greatest heroes I ever met," Hearne said.

Detective Hearne was in plain clothes and not wearing a bullet-proof vest at the time of the shooting. Chief Dodd said the Goodrich was on scene for quite some time alone before Hearne arrived and there was not a clear need for a vest.

"Each day she got up and she got ready to go to work. She put on her uniform and she put a smile on her face," Hearne said.

"I want them to know my child my three-year-old son will have to live the rest of his life without a mother," Hearne said.