An allegedly intoxicated man holding a beer shot and killed a police officer Saturday in Toledo, Ohio, when he responded to a disturbance call, according to police.
“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,” the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Witnesses said the suspect shot Dia with a handgun, then went to a wooded area. Not long after, other responding officers heard a single gunshot from the woods.
“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.,” the report stated.
At a news conference Saturday, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said the moment he arrived at the hospital where Officer Dia passed away was “horrific and heartbreaking,” according to the Blade.
“And to my dying day, 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,” he stated.
For Independence Day, the mayor asked citizens to remember the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces and also those in law enforcement who risk their lives “every day, every night, with very little fanfare, often vilified, always underappreciated.”
It is our nation’s birthday. And our nation’s motto is, “E pluribus unum.” From many, come one. We live in divided times. We must come together as one. We are one human family, one American family, and one Toledo family. And today, our family is in mourning due to the loss of one of our family members.
Later, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered the flags in Lucas County be lowered to half staff to honor Officer Dia:
To honor the life and service of Officer Dia, I have ordered that the flags in Lucas County and at the @OhioStatehouse be lowered to half staff beginning tomorrow and through his funeral service. pic.twitter.com/jiMFFvrrCm
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) July 4, 2020
Also on Saturday, the Toledo Police Department tweeted that the policeman’s death weighed heavily on his fellow officers and everyone who knew him:
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