The Toledo Police Department confirmed in a release that officer Anthony Dia was shot in the chest while responding to a call about an intoxicated man in a Home Depot parking lot on July 4. When Dia approached the male, according to witnesses, the male turned around and shot Dia in the chest.
Dia was transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, officials said.
Witnesses told the department that they saw the suspect flee into a wooded area. While officers investigated the area, they heard a gunshot in the wooded area.
“At approximately 3:15 a.m., officers located a 57-year-old male, deceased from an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Through witnesses, it was confirmed that the deceased male was the one who had shot” Dia, according to the news release.
Toledo Police Chief George Kral said that “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,” while the department noted that he joined the police force in 2018.
Kral said that Dia went to the Home Depot to “[check] to make sure that this man was OK,” according to the Toledo Blade.
“I will never forget the sight of Officer Dia being wheeled out of the hospital on a gurney,” Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz told local news outlets. “His body wrapped in an American flag, flanked by about 30 Toledo police officers, saluting and weeping.”
The death of Toledo Police Officer Anthony Dia weighs heavy on the hearts of officers and all those who knew the passion with which Officer Dia loved his family and served his community. We will continue to provide updates to officers & the community as information is processed. pic.twitter.com/DSwyYVdqSe
— Toledo Police (@ToledoPolice) July 4, 2020
Officials identified the male suspect as Edward Henry, 57, the Blade reported. Witnesses said Henry was drinking and had been arguing with some people who were gathered nearby.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine also offered his condolences to Dia’s family on Saturday.
“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,” he said in a statement.