A Topeka man has died after being critically wounded during an altercation with police at about 9:20 a.m. on Thursday, Topeka police announced.
In a video of the aftermath posted to Facebook, a witness who says he knows the injured man alleges the man wasn’t armed and that police had fired at least five shots.
However, the Topeka Capital-Journal said his claims were not confirmed by police.
In a statement released early Thursday afternoon, Topeka police said officers investigating a suspicious person in the 300 block of SE Lawrence saw a handgun in his possession.
“In the process of trying to secure the firearm, the individual struggled with officers and attempted to flee,” the police statement said. “While fleeing from officers, the individual reached for the pocket containing the firearm, causing the officers to fire their weapons.”
The man’s gun was recovered from the scene, Topeka police said.
The newspaper reported others have said the police told the man to “stop” before shots were fired.
One officer told WIBW News that the person was shot in his chest. Topeka police Capt. Mike Cross told the TV station that the two officers involved immediately administered first aid to the man and were covered in blood afterward.
Police on the scene — at Southeast Third and Lawrence — told reporters there that an altercation started in Riley Park, just east of where the man was shot. The statement released by Topeka police Thursday afternoon said officers went to the area because of a report of a disturbance with shots fired.
Six yellow markings where shell casings were found were set up in the middle of the intersection, the newspaper reported.
The officers involved in the shooting were not injured. Their names are not being released “at this time,” Topeka police said.
The name of the man shot to death is being withheld pending the notification of relatives.