Two Ohio police officers fatally shot responding to 911 hang-up

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ohio-police-officers-killed-afte
BYMegan Cerullo
Updated: Saturday, February 10, 2018, 9:05 PM
Officers Eric Joering (l.) and Officer Anthony Morelli (r.), of the Westerville Police Department in Ohio, were killed on Feb. 10. 

Two veteran Ohio police officers were met with gunfire and killed after responding to a 911 hang-up call Saturday afternoon.

Westerville Police Officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering were fatally shot while walking into an apartment while responding to a “potential domestic situation,” police Chief Joe Morbitzer said at a press conference.

The cops were at the apartment eight minutes after someone at the home called 911 at 12:02 p.m., Morbitzer said.

Joering was pronounced dead at the scene while Morelli was transported to a hospital where he later died. Morelli was a 29-year veteran of the department while Joering had been with the Westerville force for 16 years.

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A suspect is in custody and the Columbus Police Department is handling the investigation, officials said.

I am very saddened to learn of the deaths of two of my hometown police officers today. I have spoken with Westerville city leaders and pledged the full assistance of the Ohio Highway Patrol in any way they need. (1/2)

— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) February 10, 2018

Morbitzer reiterated the officers' commitment to their duties, calling them "two American heroes."

"We will miss both of these officers because they were pillars in our department. They were the ones people went to," he said.

"They literally dedicated their lives to our organization and citizens," Morbitzer added.

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Westerville native, offered condolences to the town and the officers' immediate family. 

Police investigate the scene of a shooting in Westerville, Ohio, on Feb. 10, 2018.

(Tom Dodge/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

"I am very saddened to learn of the deaths of two of my hometown police officers today. I have  spoken with Westerville city leaders and pledged the full assistance of the Ohio Highway Patrol in any way they need," he tweeted. "We will learn more soon about this tragic incident but please join me in lifting up these officers' families in prayer."

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill called the shooting an ambush.

".@WestervillePD confirms 2 officers ambushed & killed today after responding to a 911 hang-up; fired upon when they arrived at the address. Everyone should be as upset about this as America's law enforcement officers are. No cop, anywhere, 'signed up' to be murdered," he wrote.  

Prior to the Saturday shooting, at least nine officers had been killed in gun-related incidents in 2018 — up from five deaths in 2017, according to preliminary data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

At least 12 officers total have died between Jan. 1 and Feb. 10,  down from 15 who died over the same period a year ago.

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