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Murdered Topeka Lawyer May Have Interrupted Burglary as She Came Home from Celebrating Her Birthday

Posted Jul 22, 2011 4:50 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A 40-year-old Kansas attorney was shot and killed and her female companion was injured when a gunman approached their vehicle as they pulled into their driveway in Topeka a little after midnight on Thursday after celebrating the lawyer's birthday.

Natalie Gibson was the city's seventh homicide victim so far this year. Until last month, she worked as a Kansas Judicial Center staff lawyer, according to the Associated Press and KTKA. She also worked for the Commission on Judicial Performance.

The articles say the two women were in the car and apparently had entered their garage when a gunman came up, demanded their belongings and opened fire. Authorities told reporters they may have interrupted a burglary. A number of garages in the area have been broken into recently.

Gibson attended Washburn University School of Law, reports the Topeka Capital-Journal.

"I had a lot of respect for her," spokesman Ron Keefover of the Kansas Supreme Court told the newspaper yesterday. "People in the building were shocked and very saddened."

Neighbor Daryl Hendrix told KTKA that Gibson was memorable for her smile and her compassion.

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