TOPEKA, Kan. — Hundreds of law enforcement came to pay final respects Saturday for two Topeka police officers killed in the line of duty.
Fifty-year-old David Gogian and 29-year-old Jeffrey Atherly were given a hero’s sendoff, surrounded by a sea of blue.
Brandon Gogian, also a Topeka police officer, spoke at his father’s funeral saying his dad was more than a dad — he was his friend, confidant, his role model and the reason he became an officer.
“Dad treated his community as though they were his family with respect and genuine concern.”
Atherly was also remembered as a dedicated police officer who cared about the community he served.
“My prayers go out for their great loss. I hope they can move forward. I hope they can heal and move beyond this and for the whole law enforcement family my heart goes out to everyone for this loss,” former Topeka officer Shawn Reynard said.
Atherly and Gogian were both shot in the head last Sunday while responding to a suspicious car in a grocery store parking lot. The suspect was killed the next day when he shot at police.
News of the officer’s deaths touched people who didn’t know them and moved some to attend their funerals as a way to honor them and thank them for their service to the city of Topeka.
“I work for the fire department so we work hand in hand with them and I didn’t know them personally but I’m here to represent them any way we can,” said firefighter Anthony Garcia.
While Atheryly and Gogian’s watch is over, Brandon Gogian told fellow officers it’s time to return to the streets more brave, dedicated and without fear knowing there are angels in heaven watching over them.
The last time an officer was killed in the line of duty in Topeka was 12 years ago.