Two Westerville officers shot and killed in line of duty

Westerville Police Officers Anthony Morelli (left) and Eric Joering (right)
Westerville police officers killed update
Officers Killed
Officials identify Westerville officers killed in the line of duty
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WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- Two Westerville police officers responding to a 911 hang-up call were shot and killed Saturday afternoon.

Local pastors, community members held a vigil Sunday in memory of two Westerville police officers killed:

The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. in the 300 block of Crosswind Drive.

The officers were identified the officers as 54-year-old Anthony Morelli and 39-year-old Eric Joering.

Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer said Joering died at the scene and Morelli passed away at the Wexner Medical Center.

"The officers gave their lives in defense of others," Morbitzer said during a news conference, struggling to keep his emotions in check. He called them "true American heroes."

Officer Morelli was a 29-year veteran of Westerville police. Officer Joering has been with Westerville police for 16 years.

"These were two of the best we have," said Morbitzer. "This was their calling."

He added, that they "both gave their life for the protection of others and that's what they lived and breathed."

Authorities said the suspect, Quentin L. Smith, was wounded and taken into custody. The suspect was also transported to the Wexner Medical Center.

The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police has set up a GoFundMe account for the officers' families.



PHOTOS: Memorials for fallen Westerville officers