Today marks one year since Westerville police Officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering were killed in the line of duty.
Joering and Morelli were shot and killed after responding to a 9-1-1 hangup call. Investigators say the officers were shot moments after arriving at the front door of the home.
A tribute service was held for the officers at 10 a.m. today at Grace Chapel Community Church, 7798 Big Walnut Road.
We’re now at Grace Chapel Community Church, where a memorial service for Officers Morelli & Joering is being held, one year after their deaths. @nbc4i #WestervilleStrong pic.twitter.com/bSRxPLbreB— Olivia Fecteau (@oliviafecteau) February 10, 2019
Blue lights, ribbons and wreaths are on trees in Westerville in memory of the officers.
Both men left behind their families and a grieving community.
Community members are encouraged to bring out their blue lights in honor of the Joering and Morelli.
Last year, Pastor Jim Wilson said during a service that both officers were known to many church members of the Church of the Messiah.
“Officer Morelli would come here to Church of the Messiah and interact with the pre-school kids,” Wilson had said. “We knew these guys.”
Wilson said then that the killing of two police officers shook the community to its core.
“And some people will say its not the community that we thought it was,” Wilson said. “I say this morning Westerville is the community that it is. It is a community of love. It is a community of compassion and today it’s a community that grieves.”
Longtime police department Chaplain Jim Meacham said then that police officers serve far above themselves.
“Never did I ever think we would have a day like this,” Meacham said. “A day when we would see 2 officers shot dead and have services for two of our heroes.”