Police Believe Men Arrested Outside Hooters Are Linked To Earlier Shooting

By: Josh Mabry/Amanda Bossard/Melissa Brunner/Justin Surrency
By: Josh Mabry/Amanda Bossard/Melissa Brunner/Justin Surrency
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka Police say two men arrested outside the Hooters restaurant off Wanamaker Road Friday afternoon are believed to be connected to a shooting less than two hours earlier.

The shooting happened around 12:45 pm at the Bentley Place Apartments, 1300 SW Tyler. Police say a man in his 20s who'd suffered multiple gunshot wounds ran from the scene and collapsed on SW Topeka Boulevard in front of the Rork Law Offices. His injuries were considered critical but police said his condition had stabilized Friday night.

Then, just after 2 pm, the driver of a white SUV led police on a chase going the wrong way on I-70, causing an accident on an off ramp at Wanamaker Road. Police say two men ran from the vehicle. A woman and her two children, ages 2 and 4, also were in the SUV. They did not flee and police say they were not connected to the crimes. The two children were treated for minor injures.

Officers shut down the exit ramp and launched a search of the area, including nearby hotels and other businesses. A short time later, police arrested the two men at the Hooters Restaurant, 6100 SW 10th Ave. The woman who owned the SUV that crashed turned herself in at the Law Enforcement Center not long afterward for questioning.

Authorities say 24-year-old Taaron Huggins was in the process of being booked into the Shawnee County Jail Friday night. The second man arrested, a 25-year-old Michael Whitfield of Hoyt, had been taken to the hospital complaining of medical issues.

Police say a 2006 red Pontiac G6 that witnesses reported seeing fleeing the shooting scene was located Friday afternoon in Jackson County at Prairie Band Casino and Resort. Police say several firearms were found inside, one of which was reported stolen through Riley County Police.

Another blue vehicle also described by witnesses was located a short time after the shooting and determined not to be connected to the incident.


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