Community comes out to honor fallen Toledo officer
A makeshift memorial has taken shape in the parking lot outside the Home Depot on West Alexis in Toledo where 26-year-old police officer Anthony Dia took his last breath on Saturday.
while responding to a call just after midnight for a reportedly intoxicated man in the store's parking lot. The suspect was later found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
As word of the shooting made its way through the community, many people looking to show their support and condolences for Ofc. Dia's family arrived at the parking lot to place flowers, balloons, and American flags in his honor. The Home Depot lowered the American flag outside the store to half staff just after 7 a.m. Saturday. The governor has since ordered all flags in the county lowered in his honor.
"To pay tribute, I'm putting blue ribbons around my trees and light up my porch blue in honor of the fallen officer for the sacrifices he made for us," said Bryan Martin, who wanted to do something with his two sons. "I have three children myself and I couldn't deal with the pain of them losing me doing my job. My condolences to his wife and family. I want them to know the community is behind him."
Meanwhile, another memorial has sprouted at police headquarters downtown as community members drop off signs, flowers, and blue ribbons.
Officer Sandy Ceglarek, a 25-year veteran of the Toledo Police Department, says she appreciates knowing there is community support for law enforcement. This is the third time in her career that she has experienced the loss of a fellow officer.
"That's how simple it can be, something so easy as to check the safety and he's gone, he's gone now," says Ceglarek, who says she knows how quickly things can change. "It's hard to accept in some ways, and I don't know if accept is a good word. It just hurts. It's really troublesome."