Two police officers from Westerville, Ohio, were fatally shot Saturday in the line of duty, officials said.

Shortly after noon Saturday, two Westerville police officers were responding to a 911 caller who had hung up the phone, authorities said.

"As they went into the apartment, they were immediately met with gunfire and both officers were shot," an emotional Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer said at a news conference.

A Twitter account for the city of Westerville, just north of Columbus, first posted that one officer had been killed just before 2 p.m. About an hour later, the city tweeted that a second officer had died as well.

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Authorities identified the two slain officers as Anthony Morelli, 54, and Eric Joering, 39. Joering died at the scene, while Morelli was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Immediate details about the incident were scant, though Morbitzer described it as a "potential domestic situation." In the initial 911 call, a woman can be heard crying before the call disconnects, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The newspaper also obtained tape from a subsequent 911 call the woman made.

Westerville police have confirmed that two officers have been fatally shot at a home in the Columbus suburb of Ohio. Photo / AP
Westerville police have confirmed that two officers have been fatally shot at a home in the Columbus suburb of Ohio. Photo / AP

"Please help, please help, please help," the woman can be heard frantically telling a dispatcher. "My husband shot — he shot the police officers. Please hurry up. My daughter is in there."

The woman then added that she was hiding in the bushes in the front yard.

The pair were "two of the best we have," said Morbitzer, struggling through tears. "Both officers gave their life in protection of others. . . . Those are true American heroes."

On Twitter, Trump offered his "thoughts and prayers" to the fallen officers, their families and the Westerville police.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, R, who claims Westerville as his hometown, also posted his condolences on Twitter.

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