Topeka shooting leads to SWAT standoff

Topeka Police and SWAT surround a house suspected to be the hiding place of the gas station shooter June 30.

Adam Vlach, [email protected], is a senior English and mass media major.

A shooting at a BP gas station located at 1401 SW Huntoon Ave. shortly after noon Monday, June 30 led to a standoff outside a house near SW Huntoon and Washburn Avenue.

A man was reported chasing a woman when she ran into the gas station. Bryon Snyder, a bystander, tried to block the entrance of the gas station when the suspect shot him through the door. The suspect then ran to a nearby neighborhood where he took refuge in a house.

At 5 p.m. an array of Topeka police and SWAT team members had the house where the suspect was hiding surrounded.

Colby Taylor and other Washburn students said they had been watching the standoff from the intersection of SW 13th and Washburn Avenue since about 12:30 p.m. Taylor and other bystanders said their attention was drawn to the situation when negotiators began attempting to communicate with the suspect using a loudspeaker. The name of the suspect has not been released, but multiple bystanders claimed the negotiators were using the name “Daniel” over the loudspeaker.

Taylor said when he asked an officer where the suspect was hiding, the officer told him to “look where the guns are pointing,” which appeared to be at an overgrown gap between two houses. Taylor said that Google Earth did not seem to show any visible building where Topeka Police and SWAT members were surrounding.

Vandella Clark, a local resident, came home around 5:30 p.m. to find her street blocked off.

“[An officer] told me to go ask the officer in the alley, but I haven’t done that yet,” said Clark. “He was going to let me around through the back but I don’t have a back key. I have a front door key. But I’m not trying to get shot. That is literally right in front of my house.”

Clark said the house directly across the street from hers was abandoned and the house next to it, surrounded by brush, was being renovated.

At approximately 6 p.m. the suspect exited the surrounded house with his hands up and was taken into custody.

Snyder was taken to Stormont-Vail HealthCare and was listed in critical but stable condition Monday afternoon.