Justice Department charges 'straw purchaser' in Ohio police shooting

From Reuters - February 12, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department said Monday it has charged an Ohio man with acting as a straw purchaser of a gun used by a man accused of shooting and killing two police officers on Saturday.

Gerald A. Lawson III, 30, of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, was charged with aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, the department said.

An attorney for Lawson could not immediately be reached for comment.

His arrest on Monday came after two Westerville, Ohio police officers were shot to death on Saturday while responding to a domestic disturbance. The suspected shooter is a convicted felon who was prohibited from purchasing guns, the department said.The suspected shooter, Quentin L. Smith, is also in custody.

In a recording released by the authorities on Sunday, a woman who identified herself as Smiths wife told a 911 emergency operator that her husband shot the two officers.

Officer Eric Joering, 39, died at the scene, and Officer Anthony Morelli, 54, died from his wounds at a hospital.


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