Police Officer Jeff Atherly Topeka Police Department, Kansas End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012

Police Officer Jeff Atherly | Topeka Police Department, KansasTopeka Police Department, Kansas

Police Officer Jeff Atherly

Topeka Police Department, Kansas
End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012

Biographical Info

Age: 29
Tour of Duty: 1 year, 8 months
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: December 16, 2012
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Shot and wounded

Agency Contact Information

Police Chief Ronald Miller
Topeka Police Department
320 S Kansas Avenue
Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66603
Phone: (785) 368-9551

Police Officer Jeff Atherly and Corporal David Gogian were shot and killed while checking on a suspicious vehicle in a grocery store parking lot, on the 1400 block of SW Huntoon Street, shortly after 6:00 pm.
Several minutes after making contact with the multiple subjects in the vehicle one them opened fire, fatally wounding Officer Atherly and Corporal Gogian. A third officer on the scene was not wounded. The subject who opened fire fled in the vehicle. He was located in a home on Third Street, and shot and wounded after a short standoff.
Officer Atherly had served with the Topeka Police Department for just under two years.


Authorities say two Topeka police officers were killed Sunday after exchanging gunfire with another person outside a grocery store.

A nearly two-hour standoff at a home in the 300 block of Southwest Western Avenue in Topeka ended Monday morning with police removing a man who might be the suspect in the shooting.

Officers surrounded the home and yelled the suspect’s name, believed to be 22-year-old David Edward Tiscareno.  Just after 6 a.m., they told him he had five minutes to come out of the house.

SWAT team officers lobbed tear gas into the home, as several apparent gunshots rang out.  A police dog dragged what was believed to be a man, who was not moving. 

He was later removed from the home, as several officers then entered the house and an ambulance drove away.

Topeka Police Chief Ronald Miller called the Sunday evening shootings of Cpl. David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly "unspeakable."

He said Gogian, 50, and Atherly, 29, were both shot in the head by a gunman who opened fire on them within minutes of their arrival to investigate the vehicle.

"It’s clearly beyond words. It’s unspeakable almost about why this happens and why this is happening in America at this stage in our history," Miller said.

The officers were responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle about 6:10 p.m. outside the Dillons grocery store located at Southwest Huntoon and Southwest Lane streets.

Gogian and Atherly had arrived as backup for another officer when someone in the vehicle they were investigating started shooting.

"I don’t believe they had any idea this situation was going to go this direction as quickly as it did," Miller said.

The officers exchanged gunfire with a man later identified as Tiscareno, of Topeka, driving a 1999 silver Toyota Camry.  Miller said there was more than one person in the vehicle.

Police would not say whether the officers had reached the vehicle when they were shot or what kind of gun was used in the shooting.

Miller didn’t know the motive for the shooting but said the suspect has a criminal history, though he wouldn’t elaborate.

Authorities found the reported vehicle outside a house 10 blocks from the grocery store in the 400 block of Southwest Buchanan Street. The house was searched and the suspect was not found.

A third officer on the scene at the time of Sunday evening’s shooting was not injured.  Gogian and Atherly were taken to a hospital and later pronounced dead.

Gogian started with the Topeka Police Department in September 2004. Atherly had been with the department since April 2011.

Miller said Gogian was a retired military serviceman. It wasn’t immediately clear what branch of the military. He has a son who’s also a Topeka police officer.

"He had spent his life in service to his country and in the city of Topeka," the chief said.

Meanwhile, Atherly was "just getting started" in his career, he said.

The last time a Topeka officer was killed in the line of duty was 2000, and it’s been longer than that — since 1995 — that one was fatally shot on the job.

The entire law enforcement community is shocked and saddened by the deaths of the officers.

Police officials announced the news of the officers’ deaths Sunday night as a small crowd gathered nearby for a candlelight vigil outside police headquarters.


3 Responses to “Police Officer Jeff Atherly Topeka Police Department, Kansas End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012”

  1. 1 Joan Parker December 17, 2012 at 09:04

    Rest In Peace Officer Atherly…

  2. 2 Deb Welch December 17, 2012 at 23:31

    I wish to send my sympathies to the family of Officer Atherly and to the Topeka Police Department. We take our police and fire departments for granted and it takes something like this to appreciate the service that these fine people do for us. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. 3 D. Stevens December 15, 2013 at 19:00

    R.I.P., Ofc. Atherly. You are missed.

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