Published September 29th, 2022
A Topeka, KS, police officer was shot Thursday morning during an exchange of gunfire at the conclusion of a vehicle pursuit between police and a person suspected of being involved in an earlier homicide. At approximately 9:30 am, Topeka officers responded to a reported double shooting. Upon arrival, police found one victim deceased at the scene and another seriously wounded. A person of interest and the description of the vehicle he was operating was identified through the police investigation. At approximately 10:45 am, Topeka officers observed a vehicle matching the description operating in a different part of the city. When officers attempted to stop the vehicle, it fled at a high rate of speed. During the pursuit, a local sheriffs agency joined the pursuit, and the driver of the suspect vehicle fired at police vehicles several times. When police were finally able to stop the vehicle, the operator opened fire on the officers, striking one officer in the chest. According to Topeka Police Chief Brian Wheeles, the officer was wearing body armor, “took the majority of the impact of the round” and prevented the officer from being injured more seriously.
The suspect and the occupant of his vehicle were both struck by rounds fired by police. They, and the wounded officer, were transported to a local hospital, where the officer was treated and released. The suspect and his passenger remain in the hospital under police custody, pending completion of the investigation and pending charges related to both incidents.