Local Agencies Offer Condolences To TPD

By  | 

RILEY/GEARY COUNTY, Kan. (WIBW) -- Local law enforcement agencies are responding to the shooting deaths of two Topeka police officers.

Corporal David Gogian, 50, and Officer Jeff Atherly, 29, were both killed in the line of duty Sunday night when responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle at the Dillon's on SW Huntoon Street.

The suspect was later shot and killed after a standoff with police.

Riley County Police Department Director Brad Schoen called Gogian and Atherly "good public servants" and said their deaths are traumatic for law enforcement everywhere. Riley County officers are wearing mourning bands on their badges in remembrance of the deceased policemen.

"They paid the price cops never hope they have to pay," Schoen said.

"This is one of those sad occasions that everybody in law enforcement dreads but everybody recognizes as a possibility when they come on. I think the unfortunate part of this is here you have two guys who were just going to work and doing their jobs, serving their community, serving their friends and family by trying to keep the community safe and they paid that ultimate price. It's always unfortunate when these things occur. Clearly, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and with everyone at TPD," Schoen told WIBW.

He says it's been nearly 30 years since an officer was killed in the line of duty in Riley County.

"I can't imagine what they're going through but it has to be a painful experience," the director added.

Junction City Police Chief Tim Brown also expressed his sympathy for the fallen officers, their families and the entire Topeka police force. He said members of his department will be present when the officers are laid to rest to pay their respects and honor the slain officers.

"The Junction City Police Department is shocked and saddened by this tragic loss of two of Topeka's officers. Our thoughts are with the families and with the co-workers at the TPD. The Junction City Police Department will make every effort to have a contingent of officers at the funeral when the plans are announced. We will wear mourning bands on the day of the funeral," Brown said in a statement.

Meanwhile, members of the Geary County Sheriff's Office are also donning mourning bands on their uniforms. Undersheriff Tony Wolf says the tragedy serves as a reminder of the risks law enforcement officers face each day on the job.

"The deaths of the two officers in Topeka bring about a wave of feelings: Sadness, sorrow, and anger are some of the emotions that we feel in the law enforcement community. It is also a sobering reminder if how dangerous our career is, we must always be ever vigilant, danger can come in many different shapes and sizes, and when we least expect it. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the fallen officers and also with the Topeka Police Department. May God watch over them in the days and weeks to come," Wolf said.