Officer-involved shooting leaves one man dead in Central Topeka

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 7:21 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - One man is dead after an officer-involved shooting in Central Topeka early Thursday morning.

Around 6:55 a.m. the Topeka Police Department says an officer attempted to make contact with a suspicious vehicle that had been blocking an alleyway near the 2000 block of SW Lincoln. The officer was able to identify the vehicle as stolen, it had also been occupied by one suspect.

During the contact, however, the suspect refused to follow police commands. TPD said the suspect opened the driver’s side door, and then the officer walked over to that side of the car.

The suspect was armed with a handgun and when the officer got closer to him, a struggle ensued. TPD said during the struggle, the officer fired multiple rounds and hit the suspect. The suspect fired one shot but did not hit the officer.

TPD said the officer acted in self-defense and “in fear for their life.”

Melissa Underwood, director of communications for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, told 13 NEWS that the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

Just before 8 a.m. officials with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation arrived on the scene to investigate.

Per protocol, TPD Chief Wheeles said the officer involved in the situation has been placed on paid administrative leave.

“This event involved a TPD officer who was patrolling proactively in Topeka in an effort to keep our community safe,” Chief Wheeles said at a news conference. “The officer sought to intercede in a listed criminal action of a stolen vehicle and was confronted with a non-compliant, armed suspect. This incident is both a community tragedy and a demonstration of the risks our great police officers face every day in this uncertain world.”

Police were on the scene of a shooting early Thursday in central Topeka.

The crime-scene tape was placed in the north entrance of the east alley of the 2000 block of S.W. Lincoln. Almost an hour later, the crime scene had been expanded along Hampton St. between Buchanan and Lincoln.

TPD indicated that the suspect’s identity will not be released until next of kin are notified.

The most recent incident brings the total number of officers on administrative leave due to officer-involved shootings to two. The other had been placed on leave following a prior incident.

Officials have asked residents to avoid an area of SW Lincoln St. as they investigate a shooting early Thursday in central Topeka.

“Anytime we have any community tragedies, we wish we didn’t,” Wheeles said.

The City of Topeka has confirmed that the officer involved in the situation was wearing a body camera which was activated at the time of the incident.

Check for more details as they become available.

Police were on the scene of a shooting early Thursday in the 2000 block of S.W. Lincoln.
Police were on the scene of a shooting early Thursday in the 2000 block of S.W. Lincoln.(WIBW/Phil Anderson)