With Suspect Dead, DA Says No Charges In TPD Officer Killings

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The man who shot and killed two Topeka Police officers in December had a "substantial" amount of meth in his system the night of the murders.

Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor revealed the information during a Wednesday morning news conference detailing his final report on the deaths of Corporal David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly, as well as the standoff and shooting death of suspected gunman David Tiscareno that followed. Taylor said no additional charges will be filed and all law enforcement officers who fired shots during the events were found to be justified in their actions.

Gogian and Atherly were shot and killed December 16, 2012 responding to a suspicious vehicle call outside the Dillons' store at Huntoon and Lane.

Taylor told reporters Wednesday that Gogian and Atherly's actions the night of incident were consistent with thousands of other car stops.

According to Taylor, Gogian, Atherly and a third office arrived at the Dillons parking lot within 90 seconds of each other. Taylor said Gogian approached the vehicle and asked the driver to exit, while Atherly asked Tiscareno to get out from the back seat. As Tiscareno got out of the vehicle, Taylor said, he fired one shot that struck Atherly in the head, then turned and fired two shots at Gogian and the third officer. One of those shots hit Gogian in the head from four feet away.

The third officer pushed the woman out of the way, took cover and fired 10 shots.

Taylor said it took just five seconds for Tiscareno to shoot the officers and the entire incident, from the time Gogian exited his patrol vehicle to the time Tiscareno fled in his vehicle, unfolded in less than a minute.

Taylor said a total of three women were with Tiscareno that night. He identified the driver as Michelle Estrada. Also present were Linda Chandler, who was seated on the curb when the officers arrived, and Linda Woods-Plemmons, who was inside the store during the incident.

Asked whether the women would face charges related to the incident, Taylor said they would not. He says an extensive investigation showed they had no knowledge of what Tiscareno intended to do and "were probably as shocked as everyone else was."

Taylor also detailed what unfolded during a standoff in the overnight hours and the following morning which led to Tiscareno's death. Taylor says officers learned at 12:25 am that Tiscareno was barricaded in a house at 306 SW Western. After they obtained an arrest warrant and search warrant, the KBI's high-risk warrants team spent more than a half hour trying to make contact with Tiscareno and convince him to surrender. Topeka Police maintained the perimeter.

At approximately 6 am, Taylor said Tiscareno exited the house, moving in and out of the doorway and moving a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun to and from his head. He then fired a shot in the direction of the warrants team. Two agents fired a total of 8 shots from their tactical weapons and one Topeka Police officer fired a single shot from a high-powered rifle. Four of the shots hit Tiscareno, who was then brought off the porch and taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Taylor confirmed Tiscareno did have a criminal history and was the subject of other investigations at the time of his death. His office declined to confirm what those other investigations were.

Taylor also shared a message Tiscareno posted on Facebook Dec. 14, 2012, in which he spoke of no one being able to help him.

"I'm lost with the wicked. Nobody's safe," Taylor read from the post. "Go head and try to get me cop-pers. Got bullets for everybody and me. Death is all around me. I sleep when I die."

The Sheriff's Office conducted the investigation into the events at Dillons at the request of Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller, because his agency was involved as victims in the case as well as an exchange of gunfire with the suspect. The KBI conducted the investigation surrounding the standoff.