Tragedy in Westerville | Two law enforcement officials useless after taking pictures

Community, fellow officers turn out to honor slain Westerville police officers

The retired teacher stood amid the landscaping of Hill Funeral Home, clutching a miniature American flag to honor a fallen Westerville police officer she’d known since he was a hometown boy.

Jeri Price, 66, blinked back tears as she told stories of Eric Joering, a fun-loving kid in her elementary school physical education classes.

Minutes later, she watched police vehicles from across the region escort Joering’s body to the funeral home.

“I was so glad to see him paying back his community,” Price said. “Unfortunately, his life became the payback. It’s just so sad.” 


Northeast Ohio man charged with buying gun used to kill Westerville officers

A northeast Ohio man has been charged with buying the gun a central Ohio man with a felony conviction used to kill two Westerville police officers on Saturday.

Gerald A. Lawson III, 30, of Warrensville Heights, was charged with aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly A. Jolson in federal court in Columbus at 3:30 p.m. Monday.


Westerville mourns two slain police officers; suspect in custody

The Westerville police officers knew only that someone had called 911 and hung up. That required immediate action.

Eric Joering, 39, and Anthony Morelli, 54, didn’t know they were about to fall victims to one of the most unpredictable and dangerous situations police handle — domestic violence.


Pastor who notified Joering family of shooting tearfully recalls lives of both officers

In 46 years as chaplain of the Westerville Police Department, Pastor James Meacham has never had a day like Saturday. Even a man of God, he said, couldn’t be totally prepared for when such darkness descends.

With his eyes swollen and glistening with still more unshed tears, he sat inside Westerville City Hall today and recounted how he will never forget telling 39-year-old Eric Joering’s four daughters that their father was gone.


Theodore Decker: Even in tragedy, officers do their jobs

The scene tape had been doubled up in spots, and in those spots it rattled loudly, as if shivering in the drizzly wind.

Otherwise, it was deathly quiet. Even events like this, the kind that upend worlds in a flash of noise and chaos, can settle quickly into silence and slow motion.


Man charged with aggravated murder in shooting of 2 Westerville officers Late Sunday afternoon, authorities filed two aggravated murder charges against Quentin Lamar Smith, the man they say shot and killed two veteran Westerville police officers on Saturday in what was little short of an ambush.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Smith, court records show. According to an affidavit filed in Franklin County Municipal Court, as soon as officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli went inside Smith’s home in the 300 block of Cross Wind Drive, Smith pointed a handgun at them.

All three men fired. Joering died at the scene; Morelli died a short time later at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. Smith was wounded.


Westerville stores scrambling to find blue lights

Westerville stores are scrambling to find blue lights for residents looking to honor the two Westerville police officers shot and killed on Saturday.

Matt Smith, general manager at Roush Hardware in Westerville said that on Monday morning he dispatched a driver to pick up 600 various blue lights at a warehouse in Medina.


Westerville police chief often lends support; now, he needs it

Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer has spent much of his career upholding the law-enforcement profession and honoring those who have sacrificed their lives for it.

He is among the first in central Ohio to send out a tweet or Facebook post to honor a fallen officer, not only those from Ohio but from across the country.


Ohio schools honor Westerville officers killed in line of duty

Students and staff at the Centerburg school district are wearing blue to honor the two Westerville police officers who were killed on the job Saturday.

Two daughters of Officer Eric Joering attend middle school and elementary school in the Knox County district of about 1,100 students. The student councils of the middle school and high school decided over the weekend to promote the wearing of blue, as well as blue ribbons, said Ryan Gallwitz, principal of the middle school and high school.


Two Westerville police officers die in shooting

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