Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer said officer Eric Joering, 39, died at the scene and his colleague, Tony Morelli, 54, died at a local hospital. He said the officers were responding to a “potential domestic situation” and were fired on almost as soon as they entered the building to investigate.
“The officers gave their lives in defense of others,” Morbitzer said during a news conference, “These were two of the best we had. This was their calling and they did it right, they knew how to do policing the right way, both of them.”
Joering was a 16-year police veteran and Morelli was a 30-year veteran.
Police have identified the suspect as 30-year-old Quentin L. Smith.
Police released incident reports showing officers had been to Smith’s home or had dealings with him several times since 2017, some for alleged domestic violence involving a woman identified in the reports as his wife, Candace Smith.
Westerville Police will escort the bodies of Officers Morelli and Joering from the Franklin County Coroner’s Office Monday morning.
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