Hundreds Attend Vigil For Slain Topeka Officers

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Police say the man who shot and killed two police officers Sunday night outside a Topeka grocery store had a criminal record

Twenty-two-year-old David Tiscareno has a history of theft and weapons convictions. He was later killed in an armed standoff.

Cpl. David Gogian and officer Jeff Atherly were shot and killed while investigating possible drug activity. Monday night, hundreds gathered to remember the lives and service of Gogian and Atherly.

“These are our officers these are people that we know and I knew Dave Gogian,” said vigil organizer Sarah Jepson. “It just breaks my heart. Ever since, I've been thinking about the last time that I saw him, and it it's really sad."

Fifty-year-old Cpl. Gogian was a military veteran and served eight years as a police officer. Twenty-nine-year-old officer Atherly had just joined the force last April.

Member of Topeka’s law enforcement community, as well as state leaders, all took a moment to speak directly to the families of these two fallen officers.

"Today, our state joins with you in your grief,” said Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. “We mourn with you, and even though we may not be able to imagine the pain you're going through, we will support you in any way we can."

The vigil, held right next to a memorial for Topeka police officers killed in the line of duty, was a reminder for some of the constant dangers law enforcement officer put themselves in every day.

"They put their life on the line every day and this is a tell that it can happen to anybody, in any community,” said a vigil attendee. “It's been a sad week."

In time, David Gogian and Jeff Athery’s names will be added to the memorial, joining the names of their fellow officer who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their community.

Nine police officers have been killed in the line of duty in Topeka, 19 here in Wichita and 15 in Kansas City, Kan.

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