Braden said the suspect Edward Henry looked slightly agitated but never showed any sign of a gun.
TOLEDO, Ohio – A witness speaks about what he saw before Ofc was fatally shot. Anthony Dia, a Toledo police officer.
Ofc. Dia, 26, answered a call early Saturday morning in the Home Depot parking lot on Alexis Road. He was shot in the chest and killed with a beer by a drunk man, police said. Dia was later pronounced dead in a hospital.
Derek Braden, 20, is the host of Ohio Car Meets, a group of auto enthusiasts who met at the Home Depot on Alexis Road at around 10 p.m. on Friday.
Braden said suspect Edward Henry, 57, arrived shortly after the meeting started and hung around until it was ready around midnight. He wasn’t associated with the group.
“He was clearly drunk because he kept walking around with beer asking people about jumper cables and other things. We said no because we knew he was drunk and didn’t want him to leave,” Braden said.
Braden said Henry looked slightly agitated but never showed any sign of a gun.
Someone in Braden’s group called 911, but as soon as Henry saw Officer Dia pull up in the parking lot, Braden said Henry had left and Dia had followed him.
“Officer Dia got into an easy run and came very close to him. Then he turned on his heel and fired the few shots. Then the shooting broke out,” said Braden.
A record search reveals that Henry had had numerous traffic and alcohol violations in Toledo since 1986. He has also faced assault, resistance to arrest, traffic, and alcohol in Lenawee County.
Fawwaz Hamdan, 25, a member of Braden and Ohio Car Meets, had met Ofc. Dia at the previous car meets.
Hamdan and Dia had something in common that was part of the Muslim community. He said it was an honor to see Dia at the police station.
“There is a Muslim person in the police department now. People look up to him and say, ‘Oh, Muslims are helping the country and helping the people.’ We’re just trying to keep the peace. We’re trying to help other people and basically follow our religion, which expects us to help people. Always helping others and always loving others, “Hamdan said.
Ohio Car Meets, as well as other car meetups like Strictly Sketchy, UT Tuner, Glass City Crawler, Scrapes n Crepes, and 93 are hosting a charity event where all proceeds go to Officer Dia’s family. The event will take place on Sunday, August 2nd from 12pm to 5pm. The location has not yet been determined.
“He always came out and watched the rides for a few minutes. He always talked to everyone and was friendly so we just want to show the same level of support back,” said Braden.
A memorial service for Ofc. According to Imam Ali Mosque and Toledo Police, Dia will be held on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the John F. Savage Arena at the University of Toledo.
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