TOLEDO, Ohio — An officer who was responding to a disturbance call in a store parking lot was shot and killed early Saturday morning by an intoxicated man holding a beer, police said.
Toledo Officer Anthony Dia was shot in the chest just after midnight in the parking lot of a Home Depot, and later pronounced dead at a hospital, Police Chief George Kral said at a news conference.
Witnesses told police the man shot the officer with a handgun and then went into a wooded area. At some point, officers heard a single gunshot coming from the woods, Kral said. The gunman, only described as a 57-year-old white male, was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound to the head around 3:15 a.m.
Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said he was at Toledo Hospital where Dia was taken after the shooting.
“I will never forget the sight of Officer Dia being wheeled out of the hospital on a gurney, his body wrapped in an American flag, flanked by about 30 Toledo police officers, saluting and weeping,” the mayor said.
The Toledo Police Department said that Dia was wearing his department-issued body armor at the time of the shooting.
“Today is a sad day for the City of Toledo, it’s a sad day for the Toledo Police Department, and most importantly it’s a sad day for the family, friends, loved ones, and fellow officers of Ofc. Anthony Dia, who paid the ultimate sacrifice in protecting his city tonight,” Kral said.
Dia leaves behind a wife and 2-year-old child, the chief said.
Dia joined the Toledo Police Department on July 27, 2018. He is the 31st Toledo officer to be killed in the line of duty, police said.
Police departments and other first responders across Ohio have expressed their condolences, including. the Port Clinton Police Department, Toledo Fire and Rescue Department, Kent Police department and the Huron Police Department.
Gov. Mike DeWine issued a statement on the death of Dia.
Fran and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death last night of Toledo Police Officer Anthony Dia in the line of duty. We extend our sympathy to his wife and 2-year-old child, his other family members, and his colleagues in the Toledo Police Department. To honor the life and service of Officer Dia, I have ordered that the flags in Lucas County and at the Statehouse be lowered to half staff beginning tomorrow and through his funeral service on Tuesday.
A GoFundMe has been created to help support Dia's family. It has already raised nearly $10,000.