Westerville, OH – Westerville Officer Eric Joering, 39, and Officer Anthony Morelli, 54, were murdered on Saturday after responding to a call.
The incident happened at around 11:30 a.m. when officers were dispatched to a house in the 300 block of Crosswind Drive where a crying female called 911 and disconnected.
When the officers arrived, the suspect opened fire on them, hitting them both, according to WCMH.
Officer Joering was killed on scene. Officer Morelli was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
The unidentified suspect was shot in the gunfight and was taken into custody and transported to the hospital, according to New York Times.
The Columbus Division of Police is handling the investigation.
“These were two of the best we had,”Westerville Chief Joe Morbitzer said. “This was their calling and they did it right, they knew how to do policing the right way, both of them.”
Officer Morelli is a 29-year veteran of the department and was recognized at the 2012 as the Westerville Division of Police Officer of the Year, according to WCMH. The division’s 2012 annual report said, “Officer Morelli ranks number one on the shift for the following categories: case reports, incident reports, accidents, and OVIs. He is substantially above the shift average in all other categories of the activity report including citations and arrests. His assigned cases are thorough and completed in a timely manner. Throughout his tenure, he has remained motivated, dedicated, and professional in the performance of his duties.”
Officer Joering was a K9 officer, a 16-year veteran of the department and had been recognized with the Exceptional Duty Award three times, according to WCMH.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Westerville Officers Morelli and Joering, both blood and blue. Godspeed, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.
Officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli, your lives mattered.