Family, friends honor Topeka officers killed in the line of duty

TOPEKA, Kan. - Fellow service members and complete strangers piled into the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka to pay their respects to two police officers killed in the line of duty.

"Their wonderful men and deserve a lot better life than that," Topeka resident Carol Greenfield said.

Meanwhile, family members held a news conference at the law enforcement center. Topeka police officers stood behind them in support of Corporal David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly.

"We always knew he was a great man, but found out in the last few days we're not alone in those thoughts." Jeff's father, Steve Atherly, said.

Atherly fought back tears as he talked about his 29-year -old son who joined the force 18 months ago.

"We had a ritual we followed when Jeff left our house. We'd always hug him tell him we love him and to be careful, there's bad people," Atherly said.

Family Members made no mention of the person accused of killing the officers, not even Officer Brandon Gogian, whose father is among the victims.

"My dad lived as a hero and died as a protector," Brandon said. "He will continue to serve as a guardian angel. My family could not haveof made it through such a trying time without all of your help."

Gogian's funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, at the Expocentre. Athery's funeral will begin at 2 p.m.

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