Officers fill Ohio church, gym for funeral of slain officers

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio police chief says two veteran officers shot and killed last weekend were true heroes because they spent years working for others and their community.


The casket of Westerville police officer Eric Joering is brought in the church to join the casket of officer Anthony Morelli during funeral services at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Westerville, Ohio on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. The two veteran officers were shot after entering a residence Saturday. The officers returned fire, wounding 30-year-old Quentin Smith, who has been charged with aggravated murder and remains hospitalized. (Jonathan Quilter /The Columbus Dispatch via AP, Pool)


Hundreds of officers from across the nation are among the mourners at Friday's funeral in the Columbus suburb of Westerville.

Officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli were shot last Saturday while responding to a 911 hang-up call.

Westerville police chief Joe Morbitzer says the veteran officers aren't heroes because they died in the line of duty. He says they are heroes because of their service during their entire lives.

Before the services began, mourners filed past a pair of flag-draped caskets.

A uniformed officer walked Joering's police dog in front of his casket. The officer saluted while the dog sat and faced the coffin.