Police in Topeka, Kansas are mourning the loss of two of their own, as Cpl. David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly lost their lives on Sunday, December 16.Topeka Police Chief Ronald Miller, who describes the incident as "unspeakable," explains that, immediately after the officers arrived at the scene, a man shot at them from inside the vehicle.
They were detached to a grocery store, when another officer called for back-up. The third officer was not injured, reports say.
"I don't believe they had any idea this situation was going to go this direction as quickly as it did," Miller says.
50-year-old Gogian and 29-year-old Atherly responded to a report about a suspicious vehicle, after 6 p.m., CBS News writes. While the latter was "just getting started" in law enforcement, having been with the department in April 2011, Gogian has a long career with the PD.
He joined the Topeka police in September 2004. Prior to that, he was active in the Army.
"He had spent his life in service to his country and in the city of Topeka," the chief tells interviewers.
"It's clearly beyond words. It's unspeakable almost about why this happens and why this is happening in America at this stage in our history," he adds.
According to an eyewitness account, three gun clips were emptied in the shooting, with several shots following a moment of silence.
Police were able to locate the vehicle 10 blocks from the grocery store. Witnesses state that the suspect was not alone in the car at the time.
Police identified the gunman as a 22-year-old man with a criminal record. His name has not been released yet, and he remains at large at this point.
No motive for the killing has been found until now. The reason for which the vehicle was dubbed suspicious has not been released to the press.