KBI says officers used bean bags, other options before shooting man

Topeka Police Chief Bryan Wheeles addresses Friday morning's officer involved shooting that left a knife wielding man dead.
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 11:13 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2022 at 9:00 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said Topeka Police officers used bean bag rounds and other less-lethal methods to try to subdue a man, before they fatally shot him.

In a statement Friday night, the KBI said its preliminary information indicates the man had a knife, and as officers tried to get him to put it down, he cut himself several times.

Topeka Police Dept. Chief Bryan Wheeles detailed what happened next.

“Negotiation efforts continued with the subject, between the subject and the police officers on scene. During the incident, less-lethal options were employed to attempt to gain a peaceful resolution by disarming this subject,” Wheeles said. “A little before 10 a.m., despite all prior police efforts, the subject refused to drop the knife. He then stood up and deliberately charged at a group of police officers in close proximity. Those officers discharged their firearms in self-defense as they feared for their lives.”

This all started around 9 a.m. Friday. BNSF Railway told 13 NEWS an employee hi-railing the tracks near the Amtrak Station at 410 SE Holiday St. was approached by a man with an object in his hand. The company says the employee locked their vehicle, drove away and then dialed 911.

The Topeka Police Dept. then responded.

“TPD officers arrived within a few minutes,” Wheeles said. “Fully uniformed police officers initiated communication with the armed subject. They attempted to de-escalate the situation and negotiate a peaceful resolution.”

About an hour later is when authorities say the man charged at police, and shots were fired. Officers immediately rendered aid, and EMS took the man to a Topeka hospital, where he died from his injuries.

The KBI says three officers fired guns, while Wheeles said a fourth used a less-lethal device. All four are on administrative leave, as per department policy.

“This incident is a community tragedy,” Wheeles said. “We are all saddened here today. Our prayers go out to all of the impacted families.”

13 NEWS Chief Photographer Doug Brown counted 15 law enforcement vehicles from the BNSF Police Dept., Topeka Police Dept. and Shawnee Co. Sheriff’s Office in an area north of the 4th Street Crossing shortly after the incident. Brown also noted that a large portion of railroad tracks, encompassing all six lanes, were roped off with crime scene tape as of 11 a.m. Friday.

Topeka Railroad yard, north of the 4th St. crossing.
Topeka Railroad yard, north of the 4th St. crossing.(WIBW/Doug Brown)

The KBI said law enforcement is still working to positively identify the man.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation. Once complete, they will forward their findings to the Shawnee Co. District Attorney’s Office for review.

None of the responding officers was injured.

Man wielding knife fatally shot by police

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