Columbus Police Academy to focus on domestic violence runs

Cadets at the Columbus Police Academy will learn about domestic violence and runs this week following two deadly runs in Franklin County this weekend. (WSYX/WTTE)

Cadets at the Columbus Police Academy will learn about domestic violence and runs this week following two deadly runs in Franklin County this weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, Westerville Police Officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli died responding to a 911 hang-up call. The hike on Cross Wind Drive has had a history of domestic violence calls in the recent past. Once the officers approached the front door, police say suspect Quentin Smith began shooting at both officers. They had a chance to return fire and shot Smith who is still recovering at a local hospital.

Later that night, Columbus Police received a 911 call about suspect Steven Reed violating the protection order involving his ex-girlfriend.

The 911 caller said, “He went ahead and poured gasoline on the back door of the apartment where she stays.” The victim said she was afraid Reed would return and set her home on fire.

Police said they tracked Reed down at his group home on Letchworth Avenue. Reports indicate he told police he’d shoot them if they came upstairs.

Police said Reed made his way to the roof where he opened fire. Patrolman Nathan Schwind returned fire which killed Reed.

“This is one of the most dangerous calls a police officer can respond to,” said Sgt. Richard Ketcham with the Columbus Police Domestic Violence Unit. “People do not like police getting involved in their personal, family issues.”

Columbus police respond to 35,000 calls of domestic violence and disputes per year. Several years ago, the domestic violence division started teaching patrol officers how to detect when strangulation has occurred in these cases. Since then, their felonious assault cases regarding strangulation have increased by 500%.

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