2 slain Ohio officers' families thank community for support

Lindsay Evans, right, holds friend Rachel Kaczmarek, left, as the the bodies of Westerville Police officers Morelli and Joering pass by from Franklin County Coroners Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. Evans and Kaczmarek has officer Morelli as a resource officer in middle school. (Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction shows Quentin L. Smith, charged with aggravated murder after the deaths of two police officers shot Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, while responding to a 911 hang-up call at a town home in Westerville, Ohio. Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, ordered flags flown at half-staff around the state to honor Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli, the two officers fatally shot at the town home in the suburb of Columbus, Ohio. Smith, wounded in the shootout, was hospitalized in stable condition and expected to survive, officials said Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction via AP)
The Police escort of Westerville Police officers Morelli and Joering home from Franklin County Coroners office today as they head north of S. State Street in Westerville, Ohio, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)
Flowers and signs adorn a Westerville Police car at a memorial outside the police department Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, following a procession transporting the bodies of Westerville Police Officer Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli from the Franklin County Coroners Office to the Hill and Moreland funeral homes in Westerville, Ohio. (Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)
Columbus Police honor guard members salute the ambulance carrying the body of Westerville Police officer Eric Joering during a procession transporting the bodies of Joering and Anthony Morelli from the Franklin County Coroners Office to the Hill and Moreland funeral homes in Westerville, Ohio, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The families of two Ohio police officers fatally shot while responding to a 911 hang-up call have expressed their gratitude for their community and for the outpouring of support shown in the midst of their loss.

The officers from the northeast Columbus suburb of Westerville, 39-year-old Eric Joering and 54-year-old Anthony Morelli, were shot Saturday at a townhome where the suspect was wounded.

In a statement released late Monday, the officers' families requested privacy and said they need time to heal.

"We have seen and heard so much from people who have shared stories about how our men impacted their lives. They will be so greatly missed, not only by us, but by everyone they touched," the statement said.

Westerville police tweeted their own appreciation Tuesday.

" 'Thank you' does not seem adequate to express what we want to convey to our community, our law enforcement brothers & sisters, and the businesses and people across the US who have shown their support and love to us. We are forever changed," the tweet said.

Westerville hasn't yet shared details on funeral plans for the officers.

The wounded suspect, Quentin Smith, 30, is expected to survive. He has been charged with aggravated murder. Court records didn't show an attorney for him.

A man accused of providing Smith with the gun used in the killings was arrested Monday.

Gerald Lawson, 30, of suburban Cleveland, was charged with aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He's accused of buying the gun for Smith, a close friend, last summer.

Lawson was scheduled for a bond hearing Wednesday in federal court in Columbus. Court records don't list an attorney for him.

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