TOPEKA, Kan. >> Two police officers fatally shot a man near a park in Kansas’ capital city today, saying he was armed with a handgun and struggled with officers.
Topeka police said the shooting occurred after officers responded to a report of a disturbance and shots being fired near the park Thursday morning and encountered the man, whom they described as “a suspicious person.” He later was identified as 30-year-old Dominique Tyrell White, of Topeka.
“While fleeing from officers, the individual reached for the pocket containing the firearm, causing the officers to fire their weapons,” police Lt. Colleen Stuart said in a video statement. “The individual’s gun was recovered from the scene.”
White was identified by police in Lawrence, about 20 miles to the east, who took over the investigation of the shooting because Topeka officers were involved and authorities in Topeka wanted the probe handled independently. Neither police department released the names, races or other information about the officers involved. They also did not disclose White’s race or other personal information about him.
Lawrence police said both officers fired their guns immediately after White’s struggle with them. White was pronounced dead at a Topeka hospital after being taken there by ambulance.
Officers from the Kansas Highway Patrol and Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office also arrived at the scene as dozens of people gathered in the area, some of them agitated, according to local media. The crowd dispersed quickly.
Asalean Netherland, 67, who lives in a nearby apartment, criticized police after the shooting.
“That boy was killed innocently, no reason, just by not stopping,” Netherland said in a video posted online by The Topeka Capital-Journal.
But she also said people must obey officers’ commands.
“They need to stop whether you wrong or right — you’re going to be caught anyway,” she said.