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Feds arrest man accused of supplying gun used to kill 2 Ohio officers

Posted at 1:20 PM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-12 17:41:11-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Authorities arrested a man Monday who they said bought a gun for the man accused of fatally shooting two Westerville police officers Saturday. 

Gerald Lawson III, 30, of Warrensville Heights, acted as a straw buyer for Quentin Smith because Smith is a felon and prohibited from owning a firearm, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman announced. Lawson and Smith have a long friendship and Smith paid Lawson the cost of the gun plus an extra $100, authorities said. 

Lawson is facing a charge of aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. If convicted, he could receive a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. 

Police said Smith shot and killed police officers Eric Joering, 39, and Anthony Morelli, 54, in Westerville, a Columbus suburb. The officers were responding to a townhome for a 911 hang-up call when Smith shot them.  

"Both officers gave their lives in the protection of others," Police Chief Joe Mortbitzer previously said. "Those are true American heroes."

Lawson is due in court Monday afternoon. 

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