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Homicide suspect injures Topeka officer in downtown shootout

Male officer treated, released from hospital
Topeka police OIS Sept. 29
Topeka police department vehicle
Posted at 3:35 PM, Sep 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 16:40:12-04

TOPEKA, Kan. — A homicide suspect injured at least one police officer in a shootout Thursday in downtown Topeka that came after the suspect led law enforcement on a chase through Kansas' capital city.

Police said the unnamed suspect, identified only as an adult male, was wanted in connection with a double shooting around 9:30 a.m. at a south Topeka home that left one person dead and another hospitalized Thursday morning with life-threatening injuries. An injured officer was being treated at an area hospital.

The police said the suspect knew the person who was shot to death, calling their relationship “domestic in nature.” The police were not identifying either of the two shooting victims until their relatives could be notified.

The suspect was injured during the shootout and is hospitalized in critical condition under police guard.

A Topeka police officer saw the suspect's car in an east Topeka neighborhood around 10:30 a.m. and the suspect fled. The chase, during which police said the suspect fired from the vehicle at pursuing officers, ended after 4 miles in a block of office buildings downtown about two blocks north and a block east of the Kansas Statehouse.

Police did not say how the chase ended, but a car was partly up on a sidewalk, resting against a fire hydrant, its front end damaged.

The suspect shot several times at law enforcement officers, and multiple officers returned fire, police said.

"Many police vehicles and one officer were struck by gunfire," a Topeka police spokesperson said Thursday at a press conference.

The officer was treated and released from the hospital by 3 p.m. He was wearing a bulletproof vest, which "saved the officer from more injury than he had," according to Topeka police.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the shootout at local law enforcement agencies' request.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation will handle the investigation moving forward, according to Topeka police. Shawnee County Sheriff's Office deputies also took part in the chase and shootout.

Police said they were aware of citizen-produced video of the chase and shootout, which has appeared on social media, and asked anyone with video of the incident to provide a copy for "the very large-scale, chaotic investigation."

Topeka police declined to discuss other elements of the incident, which started in south Topeka and ended downtown.

Nine Topeka police officers and one sheriff's deputy have been placed on administrative leave after the shootout. The details about how many officers fired will be determined by the KBI, according to police.

A second person was in the vehicle and was injured. The female passenger was in stable condition at a local hospital, but. Topeka police would not say whether she had been shot.

Topeka police will continue to serve as the lead investigators for the initial homicide.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.