Funeral held for Topeka officers killed in line of duty

TOPEKA, Kan. - A sea of blue and black filled the Topeka Expocenter to honor Cpl. David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly.

One by one, members of the police force and friends of Gogian took to the podium and shared emotional stories about the father of six who spent his life serving others.

The Topeka city manager addressed the crowd saying he was proud of the community response and support.

Governor Sam Brownback also spoke. He asked family to accept the sorrow of the state. He told attendees that God is with them.

The most composed and emotional testimony came from Gogian's son, and fellow officer, Brandon Gogian. He thanked the servicemen and women for their support, told humorous stories about his father and then admitted to being afraid. 

But, he quickly channeled those fears and encouraged fellow offices to do the same.

"We have to control fear and use it to fight the evil that walks among us," Brandon said. "Dads watch is over, but we must continue. "

Brandon said his dad was a protector who served as a Marine and Air Guardsman. He said he became a police officer because he wanted to be just like his dad, a desire that remains even in his father's death.

Gogian's procession the the grave site was followed by the funeral of Officer Jeff Atherly. Atherly's funeral ran two hours behind schedule but drew a large crowd of supporters.

Topeka Police Chief Ronald Miller addressed the crowd and asked all police officers in the auditorium to stand up and talked about their commitment to protect and serve.

Both Atherly and Gogian were buried at the Penwell-Gabel Cemetery in Topeka, Kan.

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