• 43°

2 Kansas officers fatally shot outside market

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two police officers were fatally shot outside a grocery store in Topeka while responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle, and the suspected gunman is still on the run, authorities said.
Topeka Police Chief Ronald Miller called the Sunday evening shootings of Cpl. David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly “unspeakable.” He said Gogian, 50, and Atherly, 29, were both shot in the head by a gunman who opened fire on them within minutes of their arrival to investigate the vehicle.
“It’s clearly beyond words. It’s unspeakable almost about why this happens and why this is happening in America at this stage in our history,” Miller said.
Police were searching for a 22-year-old man whom they believe fired on the officers from the vehicle. He remained at large Sunday night. Miller didn’t know the motive for the shooting but said the suspect has a criminal history, though he wouldn’t elaborate.
A third officer who went to the scene to check on the vehicle was not injured in the shooting.
Gogian and Atherly were taken to a hospital and later pronounced dead.
The call about the vehicle came shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday, police said. Gogian and Atherly had arrived as backup for another officer when someone in the vehicle they were investigating started shooting.
“I don’t believe they had any idea this situation was going to go this direction as quickly as it did,” Miller said.
Police would not say whether the officers had reached the vehicle when they were shot or what kind of gun was used in the shooting.
Miller said there was more than one person in the vehicle, which later was found outside a house about 10 blocks from the grocery store. Officers searched the home but didn’t find the shooting suspect.
The chief declined to say why officers were investigating the vehicle and why it was considered suspicious.
Old neighborhoods, economically and ethnically diverse, surround the grocery store. Some of the homes are a century old, and they vary in how well they’ve been kept up. Green space behind the store is home to an annual art fair, and the city’s public library is within walking distance.
A small crowd met for a candlelight vigil Sunday night outside police headquarters after hearing about the shooting. As the group gathered, police officials announced to reporters nearby that the officers had died.
Gogian started with the Topeka Police Department in September 2004. Atherly had been with the department since April 2011.
Miller said Gogian was a retired military serviceman. It wasn’t immediately clear what branch of the military. He has a son who’s also a Topeka police officer.
“He had spent his life in service to his country and in the city of Topeka,” the chief said.
Meanwhile, Atherly was “just getting started” in his career, he said.
The last time a Topeka officer was killed in the line of duty was 2000, and it’s been longer than that — since 1995 — that one was fatally shot on the job.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Catawba holds baccalaureate services for Class of 2021

News

$9M settlement for two men wrongfully sent to death row

Nation/World

China lands spacecraft on Mars in latest advance for its space program

Business

Gas crunch hits Washington; Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in Bitcoin ransome

Coronavirus

State mostly returns to normal operations after 15 months of lockdowns, restrictions

Crime

Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it

Crime

Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

Crime

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday