Families remember Topeka officers slain during call - KCTV5 News

Funerals held for Topeka officers slain during call

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Two devastated families have been in shock since their loved ones were slain in the line of duty.

As Topeka and those families prepare to lay two Topeka police officers to rest, the family members of Corporal David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherley shared their memories Friday afternoon.

Steve Atherly broke down while remembering his son.

"We lost our son, our only child, but heaven has gained a beautiful soul. We love you, Jeff," his father said. "Jeff was always quick with a smile and we've heard over and over that he could brighten the darkest day with his humor."

The two were killed while responding to a call at a grocery store on Sunday night. A third officer shot back but was but not injured.

Atherly saw his son Sunday before he went to work. He hugged him, told him he loved him and admonished him to be careful because there were bad criminals out there.

He holds the memory of that last hug in his heart.

"I'll be eternally grateful that we got to do that one last time Sunday afternoon," he said.

Gogian's son, Brandon, is an officer with the Topeka Police Department.

"My dad was the most generous man I've ever encountered," Gogian said. "He was always willing to do anything for anyone and never had expectations of anything being done in return."

Gogian said his father will continue to watch over him.

"Dad lived as a hero, died as a protector and will continue to serve as a guardian angel," he said.

A saddened and stunned police force flanked the slain officers' families. The nation's honor flag arrived Friday night at Kansas City International Airport. It will be at the funerals.

To read previous coverage, click here.

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