The Lawrence Police Department is investigating the fatal shooting of a 30-year-old Topeka man by police officers in the capital city. A crime lab in Johnson County is providing forensic assistance.
Two Topeka police officers shot Dominique Tyrell White on Thursday morning in east Topeka, according to Lawrence police. White was transported to a local hospital, where he was declared dead.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that at least one bullet hit White in the chest. The newspaper said dozens of people gathered at the scene of the shooting in the aftermath.
The Topeka Police Department said White was carrying a handgun in his pocket and reached for it when officers tried to confiscate it. That prompted police to shoot, the department said.
One person videoed Topeka police live on Facebook as officers taped off the area surrounding White’s body. Someone who was not visible in the video could be heard saying repeatedly that White had been unarmed and that police had shot him five times.
The video, which was several minutes long, is no longer online. It did not show the shooting.
A spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department said his department is investigating at the Topeka department’s request. The Topeka department said in a news release and an online video that this is meant to ensure transparency.
The Lawrence Police Department said in a news release that it appears two Topeka officers fired their guns at White.
“Initial information indicates officers discovered Mr. White was armed with a firearm and a physical struggle ensued,” the news release said, adding that the investigation “is still in the early stages.”
The Lawrence department said it is seeking witnesses.
Topeka police said officers had responded around 9:20 a.m. to a report of a disturbance in east Topeka. The report indicated gunshots had been fired in the area, the department said.
The department said its officers came across White, saw that he had a handgun and tried to confiscate it, and that White tried to flee and reached for the gun.
The department hasn’t identified the two officers.
Celia Llopis-Jepsen is a reporter for the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. You can reach her on Twitter @Celia_LJ. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to kcur.org.