WESTERVILLE — The government has arrested a man accused of providing the gun used in the fatal shooting of two Ohio police officers.
Federal prosecutors say Gerald Lawson of suburban Cleveland is accused of buying the handgun for shooting suspect Quentin Smith last summer.
Officers Eric Joering, 39, and Anthony Morelli, 54, were shot and killed Saturday during a response to a 911 hang-up call. Smith, who was wounded in the shootout, has been charged with aggravated murder in Joering and Morelli’s deaths.
A criminal complaint filed against Lawson in federal court Monday says Smith gave Lawson the money to buy the gun along with $100 for completing the transaction.
It was not clear whether a lawyer had been appointed yet for Lawson. He was due in federal court Monday afternoon.
As a felon convicted previously of burglary, Smith was prevented from having a weapon.
The government says Lawson and Smith were longtime friends, and that Lawson knew Smith couldn't have a weapon.
Earlier today, Gov. John Kasich ordered flags at public properties be flown at half-staff until the officers are interred. Kasich’s order was issued hours before Westerville police were slated to escort the bodies of Joering and Morelli from a coroner’s office to separate funeral homes. Officials invited the public to line the route.
Westerville police haven’t announced funeral details.