Topeka men fire guns at five teenagers, shooting three, in possible confrontation over Trump signs

By: - November 2, 2020 2:38 pm

A screen displays the campaign banner for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence following Trump’s acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination Aug. 27 on the south lawn of the White House. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

TOPEKA — Police say they are sorting through new information from witnesses about what happened Saturday night when two men apparently fired a handgun and rifle at a group of five teenagers, possibly in a confrontation over Donald Trump yard signs.

Three of the juveniles suffered gunshot wounds. None was considered to be life-threatening.

Incident reports filed by Topeka Police Officer Justin Good identify the men as Robert Sinner, 39, and Justin Sinner, 34. The names of five juveniles ranging in age from 15 to 17 are redacted.

A man who answered the phone for a number listed for both men ended the call from Kansas Reflector without comment.

The officer filed separate reports reflecting conflicting allegations following the shooting at 11:10 p.m. Saturday. One report lists the Sinners as victims of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle. The other report lists three of the teens, ages 15, 16 and 17, as victims of aggravated battery. All five, including an additional 15- and 16-year-old, are listed as victims of criminal discharge of a handgun and rifle.

Early reports from police said one of the men shot three of the kids because he believed they were stealing his Donald Trump yard signs. One of the kids was found in a crashed vehicle suffering from serious wounds. Two more gunshot victims arrived at the hospital.

Gretchen Spiker, spokeswoman for TPD, wouldn’t say Monday what role, if any, the Trump signs may have played.

“The investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident remains very active,” Spiker said. “With less than 48 hours into the investigation, detectives continue to conduct interviews with involved parties and witnesses. New information continues to be forthcoming.”

Spiker said no arrests have been made, but that arrests could be forthcoming. She asked for the community’s patience as investigators try to determine the facts of the case.

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Sherman Smith
Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith is the Kansas Press Association’s journalist of the year. He has written award-winning news stories about the instability of the Kansas foster care system, misconduct by government officials, sexual abuse, technology, education, and the Legislature. He previously spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal. A lifelong Kansan, he graduated from Emporia State University in 2004 as a Shepherd Scholar with a degree in English.