TOPEKA, Kan. — Monday evening marks 24 hours since two Topeka police officers were killed and a question no one will ever know the answer to is: ‘why?’
David Gogian, 50, a supervisor with the department, and Jeff Atherly, 29, an officer, were both shot when they responded to a call Sunday evening. Both officers later died at the hospital. The suspect, David Edward Tiscareno, 22, was shot by police during an early Monday morning standoff. Tiscareno also died from his injuries.
“One of the things that concerns me is we really don’t know why he did what he did would have been nice to at least try and figure out what his motivation was, we’re not going to know that,” said Police Chief Ron Miller.
Despite the heartbreaking end, a 20 year friend of one of the officers chose not to remember his final moments. Instead, he described Gogian as a “joker” and a “good man.”
“He was a guy who felt the need to serve and did– you know that’s probably the most important thing about Dave, he was constantly serving others,” Brian Martin said. “I’m certainly angry at his loss of life, but I’m doing my best to just remember his. I’m dong my best to just remember the good part of his life today.”
Martin recounted Gogian’s “storied military career,” that began in the Marine Corps, and quickly rose to flight superintendent, leading his entire unit.
Atherly was a stand-up officer who was with the department for a year and-a-half, police said during a Monday news conference, adding the department was deeply saddened by the loss of their fellow colleagues.
A memorial fund has been set up for both David Gogian and Jeff Atherly. To donate, send a check payable to the Topeka Police Credit Union, 320 S. Kansas Ave., Topeka, Kan., 66603.