Kansas Cop Shooting: Two officers fatally shot outside grocery store, authorities say

David Tiscareno
Jeff Atherly (left) and David Gogian

(CBS/AP) TOPEKA, Kan. - Kansas authorities said two police officers were shot to death Sunday outside a grocery store in Topeka while responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle.

Topeka Police Chief Ronald Miller said Cpl. David Gogian, 50, and Officer Jeff 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.

Authorities surrounded a nearby house early Monday where a 22-year-old suspect was believed to be hiding. Police Chief Ronald Miller said the suspect had a criminal record but he didn't elaborate. He said he didn't know why the suspect fired on the police officers in the incident outside a grocery store.

Gogian and Atherly were taken to a hospital and later pronounced dead. A third officer who went to the scene to check on the vehicle was not injured in the shooting.

Police said they received a call about the vehicle shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday. Gogian and Atherly arrived as backup for another officer when someone in the vehicle started shooting. The chief declined to say why officers were investigating the vehicle and why it was considered suspicious.

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

Miller said there was more than one person in the vehicle, which later was found outside a house about 10 blocks from the grocery store. Officers searched the home but didn't find the shooting suspect.

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

Miller said Gogian was a retired military serviceman and 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.