Vigils planned Sunday after Westerville shooting kills two police officers

Officer Morelli and Officer Joering. (WSYX/WTTE)

The community began to sorrowfully embrace its mourning police department overnight on Sunday, after two police officers were shot and killed in the line of duty.

Veteran Westerville patrolmen Eric Joering and Tony Morelli were both fatally shot on Saturday while responding to a domestic dispute on Crosswind Drive. Suspect Quentin Lamar Smith, 30, was also shot during the encounter but has thus far survived the attack and is being treated at OSU’s Wexner Medical Center, according to police.

Hundreds of porches and lanterns throughout Westerville could be seen adorned with blue lights in the overnight hours part of a universal sign of support, often seen after police are killed while on-duty. A memorial of flowers, candles, balloons and teddy bears rapidly grew outside the Westerville Police Department and Westerville City Hall.

A pair of memorial vigils are planned Sunday: one at 2:30 p.m. at Westerville North High School, and the other for 6:00 p.m. at Heritage Church in Maxtown Road. A third vigil is in the works for Tuesday.

Police did not reveal much information on the suspect late Saturday. ABC 6/FOX 28 learned from court records and public records that Quentin Lamar Smith had been living at 312 Crosswinds Drive with his estranged wife. The two had filed divorce proceedings beginning in 2016.

Court records showed Smith with a criminal history, including indictments for violent crimes like burglary, domestic violence and felony assault when he lived near Cleveland about a decade ago. Smith had pleaded guilty to the burglary and domestic violence charges, and spent some time in jail during his court proceedings.

Westerville Police are expected to release more information during a 9:00 a.m. news conference on Sunday morning.

Stay with ABC 6/FOX 28 for more on this developing story.

LIVE: Westerville Division of Police is providing an update after two officers were killed in the line of duty after responding to a 911 hang up. http://bit.ly/2BmNG7j

LIVE: There is a vigil being held for Officer Joering and Officer Morelli inside Westerville North High School.


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