TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - As the state prepares to remember its fallen law enforcement officers, Topeka's police chief has offered new insights into the deaths of two of his own.
Chief Ron Miller told 13 news Wednesday he met with the families of Officer Jeff Atherly and Corporal David Gogian this week, trying to provide answers during what's sure to be an emotional week.
Miller says the law enforcement family is still reeling from the December 16th shooting deaths, so he felt it only fair their personal families, too, know the details of the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office's recently completed investigation into the incident. Miller said he wanted them to have the information ahead of memorials scheduled in Topeka this week.
Miller says the family members have never been told where their loved one was when the fatal shots were fired, what they were doing and what happened in the aftermath.
Miller declined to provide specific details from the investigation. He would only reiterate what was said following the incident - that Atherly, Gogian and another officer were responding to a call of possible drug activity in a suspicious vehicle outside the Dillons store at Huntoon and Lane streets; that David Tiscareno and two women were in the vehicle; and that Tiscareno got out and shot the officers.
Miller says the Shawnee Co. District Attorney's Office will release any other details after reviewing the investigation. He says the report is several thousand pages thick.
Miller did respond to 13 News questions about the decision to not release the names of the women who were in the car with Tiscareno and saw it all unfold. Miller says there were threats made against law enforcement and family members of Tiscareno had picketed the Law Enforcement Center. He says the decision to not release the names of all of those involved is a security issue, so as not to endanger witnesses.
A spokesperson for the District Attorney's Office said Wednesday that DA Chad Taylor continues to review the investigative report.
Atherly and Gogian will be honored with a candlelight vigil at 8:30 pm Thursday. It has been moved inside to the Statehouse rotunda due to weather. The statewide law enforcement memorial ceremony is noon Friday at the law enforcement memorial on the northeast grounds of the Capitol.
You can watch Friday's memorial ceremony live on 13.2 My-TV or streaming at wibw.com.