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Archive for Monday, December 17, 2012

Suspect in shooting deaths of two Topeka Police officers dies

December 17, 2012

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The suspect in the Sunday shooting deaths of two Topeka police officers died at a hospital Monday morning after being shot in a standoff with police, according to a news release issued by the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office.

Based on a citizen tip, law enforcement located the suspect in a residence in the 300 block of SW Western Avenue in Topeka. At 6 a.m., officers used gas to attempt to draw the suspect out. The suspect came out of the house with a gun, and police shot the suspect, who was then taken to the hospital.

The news release did not name the suspect, though in a televised press conference Sunday night, Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller said police were seeking 22-year-old David Tiscareno, of Topeka, as a suspect in the shooting.

Cpl. David Gogian, 50, and Officer Jeff Atherly, 29, died at a Topeka hospital Sunday night after being wounded in the shooting near the Dillons grocery store at 1400 SW Huntoon St. about 6 p.m. Sunday. The two officers were responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle at the store, police said. A third officer at the scene when the shooting occurred was uninjured.

Miller said there was more than one person in the vehicle that police were investigating, a 1999 silver Toyota Camry. Officers later found the vehicle outside a house about 10 blocks from the grocery store, but when they searched the home they didn’t find the shooting suspect.

The chief declined to say why officers were investigating the vehicle and why it was considered suspicious.

Miller said he did not know why the suspect opened fire on police within minutes of their arrival to investigate the vehicle. Both officers were shot in the head.

“All I can tell you is it’s a tragedy,” Miller said. “It’s clearly beyond words, and it’s unclear why this is happening in America.”

Tiscareno has a 2011 conviction for possession of an illegally modified shotgun under 18 inches long.

Police will hold a press conference at 1 p.m. Monday at the Law Enforcement Center, 320 S. Kansas Ave.

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