Hundreds honor fallen police officers at Topeka vigil

TOPEKA, Kan. - A day after the murder of two Topeka police officers, hundreds gathered at a candlelight vigil to pay their respects.

Family, friends, and members of the police department were there to honor Cpl. David Gogian and Ofc. Jeff Atherly, who were killed in the line of duty Sunday.

Many of the people in the crowd had never met either of the men. But they came to remember their sacrifice.

RELATED | Two Topeka policemen killed in shooting near grocery store

Early Monday morning, law enforcement officers shot the man they say took two of their own, 22-year-old David Tiscareno.

He was killed in a standoff with police only hours after Gogian and Atherly were gunned down in a Topeka grocery store parking lot.

RELATED | Man dies after standoff connected to killing of two Topeka police officers

As bag pipes played Amazing Grace, a sea of supporters thought about amazing sacrifice and held flickering candles to honor the two lives snuffed out.

Governor Sam Brownback joined the list of leaders who spoke.

Family of the victims received condolences from lines of strangers, family, and friends.

"It's very heart warming," said Tara Thompson, a friend of Atherly, "It's nice to see everybody out here honoring them."

"You can't put any common sense why these kind of things happen," said Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller. "The reality is, there is no reason for this to have happened."

The candles strewn around the fallen officer memorial may not always be there, but soon the names of the fallen officers will forever grace its list of heroes.

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