Warrensville Heights man charged with buying gun used in shooting of 2 Westerville police officers

Warrensville Heights man charged with buying gun used in shooting of 2 Westerville police officers
(Sam Greene/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP). Mourners gather and leave flowers on a police cruiser parked in front of City Hall in Westerville, Ohio, on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018.

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - According to United States Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman, Gerald A. Lawson III, 30, of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, has been charged for allegedly buying a firearm for Quentin L. Smith, who is accused of shooting and killing Westerville Police Officers Eric Joering and Tony Morelli.

Lawson, who was arrested Monday, has been charged in Federal Court with aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

According to investigators, Smith was prohibited from buying or possessing a gun because he is a convicted felon.

A criminal complaint filed against Lawson says Smith gave Lawson the money to buy the gun along with $100 for completing the transaction.

Investigators learned that Lawson and Smith have a long history of friendship. A review of Lawson's social media account after the incident on February 10 revealed a post by Lawson displaying three photographs of both of the men together. A comment by Lawson associated with the post also referenced the long-standing friendship between the two.

Firearm trace results indicate the Glock firearm was purchased by Lawson in Broadview Heights, Ohio.

Officers Joering and Morelli were shot Saturday while responding to a 911 hang-up call at a townhome.

Smith, who was also shot, is in stable condition and expected to survive.

He's charged with aggravated murder.

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