Topeka police have identified a woman believed to have witnessed a homicide early Sunday about a block south of Washburn University, where students were advised to “shelter in place” for a short time as officers searched for the assailant.
The shooting death marks the third homicide in the first 14 days of 2018 in Topeka.
According to Topeka police Lt. Steve Roth, officers at 12:05 a.m. Sunday responded to a report of gunshots fired in the area of S.W. 22nd Park and Mulvane.
Upon their arrival, they found the car in a tree line with a male passenger who was deceased.
Immediately after the shooting, another person was reported to have run north from the scene onto the Washburn University campus.
Washburn University Police sent an iAlert message to students shortly after the shooting was reported. According to a Tweet from the Washburn Review, the university’s student newspaper, the alert read: “Washburn Police are searching for a suspect in a shooting off campus who may have fled onto the campus. Please shelter in place until further details are available.”
According to a second Tweet from the Review, which was posted around 1:45 a.m., another iAlert from Washburn police stated: “Officers have been unable to locate the suspect. The suspect is no longer believed to be on the campus at this time. There is no need to continue sheltering.”
Topeka police were holding the area near S.W. 22nd Park and Mulvane as a crime scene as of 4:45 a.m. Sunday and were expected to continue to do so until daybreak.
Around 8:30 a.m. Sunday, police released a surveillance photo of a woman who may have witnessed the shooting. The woman has been identified, Lt. Shane Hilton said around 11:30 a.m.
Additional details, including the victim’s name and a suspect description, weren’t immediately available.
Before Sunday, Topeka had recorded two homicides in 2018.
The capital city finished 2017 with a record 30 homicides.
Homicide database for Topeka, Shawnee County
Anyone with information is asked to call TPD’s criminal investigations bureau at (785) 368-9400.
Check cjonline.com for more information as it becomes available.