TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A man suspected of murder and a police officer were injured during a mid-morning shootout Thursday in downtown Topeka after the suspect led officers on a chase through Kansas' capital city, firing at them as he drove.
(Click below to listen to a joint press conference with Topeka Police and the Shawnee Co. Sheriff's office.)
Topeka police had sought the suspect over the Thursday morning shooting of two people at a south Topeka home, one of whom died, Chief Bryan Wheeles said. The suspect was hospitalized and in critical condition, under guard and in custody.
The other shooting victim was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, and a woman riding with the suspect also was hospitalized, but her injuries were not considered life-threatening. The officer was treated at a hospital and released. His injuries were not more serious because the shot hit his protective vest, Wheeles said.
The chase ended in a block of office buildings, about two blocks north and one block east of the Kansas Statehouse.
“This could have been a lot higher count as far as casualties and even fatalities,” Wheeles told reporters during a news conference near where the chase ended.
Police said the suspect's relationship with the person shot to death in south Topeka was “domestic in nature” but did not elaborate. The suspect fled after a police officer spotted his car, and the chase lasted about 4 miles.
Police didn't name the suspect, his passenger, the two shooting victims or the injured officer. Details about the double-shooting, the chase and the downtown shootout weren't immediately released as the Kansas Bureau of Investigation reviewed what happened at the request of local law enforcement agencies.
It also wasn't clear how many officers fired their weapons, though Wheeles said nine Topeka police officers and one local sheriff's officer were on paid leave.
“This was a large scale, chaotic incident,” Wheeles said.
SHAWNEE COUNTY —Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) is investigating an officer-involved shooting with a homicide suspect that involved both Topeka and the Shawnee County Sheriff's office.
Early Thursday morning, officers responded to the 3500 block of SW Kerry Avenue in Topeka on a report of a shooting, according to Lt. Manuel Munoz.
Upon arrival, officers located one individual deceased at the scene and one other individual injured.
Topeka Police investigators quickly identified and worked to locate the suspect. The relationship between the suspect and the homicide victim was domestic in nature, according to Munoz.
A Topeka officer observed the suspect vehicle near Topeka’s Hi-Crest Neighborhood. The suspect initiated the pursuit, which ended in downtown Topeka near SW 6 th Avenue and South Kansas Avenue.
Multiple agencies responded to the scene, including SSO. The suspect shot several times at law enforcement officers on scene. Multiple law enforcement officers returned fire. At least one officer was struck by the suspect’s gunfire during this incident. The officer is receiving medical treatment at a local hospital.
Check the Post for additional details as they become available.