Two Westerville Division of Police officers were killed in a shootout just after noon Saturday, Feb. 10, after responding to a "potential domestic (violence) situation," according to city officials.

The officers were Eric Joering, 39, a 17-year-veteran, and Anthony Morelli, 54, a 30-year veteran, according to Westerville police.

They were the first Westerville officers killed in the line of duty, said Matt Dole, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio.

Chief Joseph Morbitzer called Joering and Morelli "two of the best we have" during an emotional press conference a few hours after the shootings. ThisWeek streamed the press conference via Facebook Live on the ThisWeekWesterville page.

"This was their calling, and they did it right," he said.

Morelli was the subject of a ThisWeek story almost three years ago recognizing him and officer Jack Johnson for going out of their way to help a homeless man.

Joering was a K-9 handler, according to photos shared by Westerville police.

Westerville spokeswoman Christa Dickey said the officers were involved in the shooting incident on Cross Wind Drive at 11:30 a.m. after a 911 call was received and the caller hung up.

Morbitzer said officers were fired upon "immediately" when they arrived to check on it and knocked on the door after 12:10 p.m.

The suspected shooter was wounded, taken into custody and transported to a local hospital, police said.

On Feb. 11, red and yellow police tape marked off the streets around an apartment at 312 Cross Wind Drive, where a handful of police cruisers still sat.

Late Feb. 10, police identified the man living at the home where the shooting took place as Quentin Lamar Smith, 30, and Dickey confirmed Feb. 11 that Smith was the suspected shooter.

Smith is a convicted felon with a history of domestic violence and gun possession.

Court documents show that Smith was convicted in Cuyahoga County in May 2009 for using a gun during a 2008 burglary and for domestic violence. He was sentenced to three years in prison in that case.

According to court records, a domestic-violence call at the Cross Wind Drive address in Westerville was received Nov. 29, 2017. Smith’s wife, Candace Smith, told police that he had threatened to kill her, their daughter and himself if she ever left him. She asked police about getting a protection order against him, but there is no evidence that happened.

Also before the Nov. 29 incident, Westerville police reported that Candace Smith had gone to the police department to ask about a protection order.

They also responded to a domestic-violence call at that address Sept. 14, 2017. It’s unclear how that was resolved.

Dickey said one officer was killed in the exchange of gunfire Feb. 10 and the other was transported in critical condition to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where he died.

We are deeply saddened to report that one of our officers has been killed in the line of duty. Please continue to follow back for more information.

— City of Westerville (@tellwesterville)February 10, 2018

It is with a heavy heart we report a second Westerville officer has been killed in the line of duty. We will share more details here as it becomes available.

— City of Westerville (@tellwesterville)February 10, 2018

Westerville officials said the Columbus Division of Police would lead the investigation, and other local departments would respond to calls in the city in the coming days so Westerville police can grieve.

Another press conference was held Sunday morning, at which Morbitzer stood in the cold mist outside Westerville police headquarters and promised the community they would get through the tragedy together.

“The groups we’ve been thinking about and helping the most, of course, are the families of these officers,” he said. “Our folks will take these families under their wing.”

A community vigil is planned for 6 p.m. Feb. 11 at Heritage Christian Church, 7413 Maxtown Road in Westerville.

Morbitzer said the police division and the families are working on funeral arrangements.

In addition, Westerville City Council's work session scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 13, has been canceled.

The Fraternal Order of Police has set up a GoFundMe account to help the families of the officers, available here: GoFundMe.com/FOPLodge9HelpFund.

Dickey said the FOP account is the only official one established in the officers' names, and any others might be not be legitimate.

CME Credit Union in Westerville also will accept donations for the families, she said.

Check ThisWeekNEWS.com for other updates.

The Columbus Dispatch reporters Dean Narciso, Kimball Perry, Holly Zachariah and Sheridan Hendrix contributed to this story.

aking@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekAndrew

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } This is a series of audio files created from roughly 120 calls to and from the 911 dispatcher Feb. 10, 2018, when Westerville police officers responded to a 911 hangup call and two officers -- Eric Joering, 39, a 17-year-veteran, and Anthony Morelli, 54, a 30-year veteran -- were shot and killed. [Source: City of Westerville]