Witnesses recount car chase and shooting in Downtown Topeka that left one officer injured

Authorities say the suspect in a South Topeka homicide Thursday morning of Sept. 29th, sent officials on a shooting filled, vehicle pursuit into downtown Topeka
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 10:25 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Authorities say the vehicle of the suspect in a South Topeka homicide Thursday morning of Sept. 29th, was spotted around 10:45 am in the Hi-Crest neighborhood.

The suspect sped away leading authorities on a chase through Downtown Topeka.

“During the pursuit the suspect was firing weapons at the pursuing officers, those officers requested all available law enforcement assistance to respond emergent due to their lives being endangered coming from the suspect’s vehicle. Area law enforcement officers from multiple agencies responded to that officer endangered call for assistance,” Chief of Police, Bryan Wheeles says.

The gunfire left damage in its wake, striking the townsite tower and shattering a glass door.

Witnesses inside the townsite tower described the chaotic scene.

“We just start seeing gun shots. Then I start seeing bullet holes appearing on the hood of the police car. So then this guy turns, and he’s going this way, then all of the cops start coming, they start shooting at this car, doing all kinds of stuff. He’s returning fire, and I’m just filming and I’m like, ‘what the hell is going on in Topeka, Kansas? I mean, it’s like a war scene,” witness, SJ Hazim says.

“I was up on the 16th floor and we were doing our work and I heard a whole bunch of sirens. So I got up to look to see, and I see the silver car turn down Quincy and it was turning the corner, then I see the police officer, I see all of the cops coming,” says an anonymous witness.

In a video submitted by a 13 news viewer you hear shots continue to be fired and then you see officers, guns drawn, converging on the suspect vehicle.

You then see the officers pull someone out of the car and witnesses say there was also a woman in the passenger seat.

Authorities say both people were taken to the hospital, one suffered critical injuries and is being guarded by law enforcement, while the other is in stable condition.

During the shootout with law enforcement, multiple police vehicles were hit and one officer was shot.

Chief Wheeles says that officer was wearing a bullet proof vest, saving them from serious injury.

He says the officer was treated at a hospital and released.

Authorities would not comment on how many shots were fired by officers, but did say how many were involved.

“I can tell you that we have nine police officers from the Police Department who are on administrative leave and one from the Sheriff’s Office,” says Chief Wheeles.

The Chief also says he is proud of the way multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the call for help.

“This was a chaotic episode that was the result of a violent suspect who displayed extreme indifference to life and safety of those within my community. His actions were without regard to anyone else other than himself. There has been a tremendous outpouring of support from the community to the police department and I am grateful for all who have reached out,” says Chief Wheeles.