Toledo police to temporarily suspend use of solo patrols following officer’s death

Posted at 7:05 AM, July 7, 2020 and last updated 4:10 PM, May 25, 2023

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The police chief of Toledo says he is temporarily suspending use of single-officer patrols following the shooting death of an officer gunned down in a store parking lot by an intoxicated man holding a beer.

Chief George Kral told reporters Monday that the suspension “can’t be forever” but will be in effect while officials consider ways to increase officer safety. And he said even when single-officer units are dispatched, a second such unit is also dispatched — and in this case, Kral said, “literally … within 30 seconds the cavalry was there.”

Officer Anthony Dia was shot in the chest just after midnight Friday in the parking lot of a Home Depot and was pronounced dead at a hospital. He was wearing a bulletproof vest but the round entered at a point “where there was no coverage,” Kral said.

Witnesses told police the man fled into a wooded area after the shooting, and officers later heard a single gunshot in the woods. The 57-year-old man was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head around 3:15 a.m. Saturday, police said.

Dia, 26, a Muslim, leaves behind a wife and a 2-year-old child. The Imam Ali Mosque announced a memorial service Tuesday at the University of Toledo. Gov. Mike DeWine earlier ordered flags in Lucas County and at the Ohio Statehouse to fly at half-staff from Sunday through the officer’s funeral service.

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