TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Road rage…it usually ends with the honk of a horn or a hateful hand gesture. But when 28 year old Michael Stadler was involved in a road rage incident a few weeks ago in Topeka, he was killed. Recently, the man police believe is responsible for killing Stadler was booked into the Shawnee County Jail.
St. Francis Medical Center is the hospital where Michael Stadler took his last breath. He was riding in a car with a friend nearly three weeks ago to the day, when he was shot. Stadler’s friends told KSNT News lately all they can do to get by and reminisce on the good times.
“He was a skateboarder at heart,” Kyle Keller, a friend of Michael Stadler said.
Riding his skateboard… that is how friends remember the 2006 Washburn Rural High School Graduate Michael Stadler.
“This whole skate park is how everyone became friends and knew Michael,” AJ Albright, another friend of Michael Stadler said.
Not only did he love skateboarding…
“I remember the time where he stated his two favorite tricks on his voicemail,” Keller said.
He also loved being with friends and family.
When Michael Stadler was killed in a road rage shooting three weeks ago… It has left everyone that knew him stunned.
“It hits me more and more every day,” Albright said.
Stadler’s family says Mike and a female friend were driving down 29th street in Topeka when they were cut off by another driver. His mother says words were exchanged between Stadler and the person who cut him off. That’s when Stadler was shot.
“I was hoping it wasn’t him but I knew it was because no one else has the last name Stadler,” Albright said.
Friends said Stadler told Topeka Police what happened. Just today police told us the female driver was actually the one who identified two men who’ve now been arrested in connection with the case.
“An inexplicable act that resulted in the death of a friend a son a skateboarder in our community there is not really any way to quantify the loss,” Keller said.
Two weeks ago, Topeka Police arrested Daniel Askew for having a role in the shooting. Andre Rhoiney Jr. was arrested a week later in West Virginia for first degree murder.
“For Mike,” Keller said.
As for one of Michael’s friend, he wants to see justice.
“We’re just hoping and praying you’ll be held accountable for the decisions you made last night and the lives you have suddenly and permanently altered,” Keller said.
Earlier Friday KSNT News asked a Topeka Police Officer if they could tell me the last time someone was killed in Topeka over road rage. The officer told me he could not think of one.
The Topeka Police say the best thing you can do in a road rage situation is to make sure your car doors are locked. They also say do not engage with the other driver, no matter how aggravated you might be. They also say if you are worried you may be in danger, drive to the closest police station.