After officer is shot, community shows support for department that does ‘so much’

As Clearcreek Twp. police officers held vigil next to one of their own while continuing to work in their community, residents brought snacks, drinks and cards of support.

“We have interacted with a lot of the Clearcreek police in the 20 years that we have lived here and they’re all very friendly and very warm and would do anything for anybody … we just felt that we needed to bring something to show support,” resident Wendy Gabriel said.

Gabriel brought doughnuts and fruit plates late Wednesday morning, and Christina Quintanilla and her sons Gio and Matteo brought snack bags for officers’ cruisers in the afternoon.

“They just do so much, so we just wanted to show our appreciation, especially at a time like this,” said Quintanilla.

She said an officer was at her house Tuesday morning for an accidental alarm call and she described him as extremely pleasant, so she was moved by the shooting of veteran officer Eric Ney.

Ney was responding to a domestic violence call late Tuesday night in the township when a man shot him in the head. His sergeant, who responded with him, returned fire, killing the man. Ney remained in critical condition the next day, but was breathing on his own.

“Especially today, we wanted to show our appreciation for the whole department,” Quintanilla said. “These officers work hard and they do so much for the community — the schools and the whole community.”

Gabriel said she and her family live near where the shooting happened in the northern Warren County township. And it’s not the first time her family has felt the need to come to the help of the people they consider helpers.

“We had one of our sergeants that passed away in his backyard and then we had another officer killed by a drunk driver about six or seven months later,” Chief John Terrill said on scene Tuesday night. “So it’s been tough for us.”

Larry Cornett died of a heart attack in June 2018. Officer Jerrid Lee was killed in a car crash, hit by a drunk driver, in January 2019.

“We knew officer Lee, he helped our family through a situation,” Gabriel said. “That was very sad to lose him, but Clearcreek has always been good to us as a family.”

Throughout the day, other families, individuals and officers from different jurisdictions brought items — a deliveryman brought flowers — to the department in the township building on Bunnell Hill Road.

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