TOLEDO, Ohio (WOIO) - As expected, it was a very emotional memorial service Tuesday morning for Toledo Police Officer Anthony Dia. The 26-year-old was shot and killed in the line of duty over the weekend.
Family, friends, fellow officers, and members of Officer Dia’s Muslim faith community gathered inside the Savage Arena at the University of Toledo to say their final goodbyes.
“When we all go home tonight, we should remember the words of Anthony’s dad, he wouldn’t want to go out any other way,” said Lieutenant Kelie Lenhardt.
Officer Dia’s cousin, Moustafa Rahal, says Dia prepared a letter only weeks ago in the month of Ramadan preparing for the worst. He kept thinking about death with everything going on this year.
Rahal read the letter aloud. Dia told his wife how much he loved her and their two boys. “I love you and our sweet boys with everything in me and I’m sorry that I’m gone sooner than I wanted to be. Please continue raising our children on the right path. We may not be perfect, but I don’t think we’re doing too bad.”
Officer Dia was shot and killed when called to check on a man who was reportedly drunk outside a Home Depot store on July 4.
Toldeo Police Detective Andres Cowell recited a poem about Dia as a person saying, “If you were building a perfect cop, Tony was as close as you could get.”