Two Topeka, Kansas police officers were fatally shot after they responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle in a grocery store parking lot.
WIWB Topeka reports that Cpl. David Gogian, 50, and Officer Jeff Atherly, 29, responded to the call around 6 p.m. on Sunday. The pair were backing up another officer who arrived in the parking lot of a Dillon's supermarket when someone in the vehicle under investigation started shooting at them. Both of the slain officers were shot in the head, the third was unharmed. Gogian and Atherly were rushed to a nearby hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
Two hours after the shooting, law enforcement officials surrounded a home where the suspect's vehicle was located. The shooting suspect, however, was not found and shortly thereafter police zeroed in on another address. A SWAT team cleared an apartment building on S. Topeka Blvd. around 1 a.m. Monday but once again, the shooting suspect was not found.
Around 2 a.m. officers targeted a home at 3rd and Western Ave., where the suspect was finally located. After hours of failed negotiation, chemical agents were deployed, forcing the suspect from the home. He was carrying a gun and was shot by multiple officers.
The man, identified as 22-year-old David Edward Tiscareno of Topeka, was pronounced dead after being rushed to a local hospital. Topeka Police Chief Ronald Miller told reporters that Tiscareno had a criminal record.
After news of Gogian and Atherly's shootings got out, a small crowd gathered outside Topeka police headquarters for a candlelight vigil.
Gogian, who also has a son on the force, had joined the Topeka police after retiring from the military.
"He had spent his life in service to his country and the city of Topeka," Chief Miller said.
Meanwhile, Atherly "was just getting started" with his police career.
Chief Miller said the officers' deaths were "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.