Honoring Dressel: New details shared ten years after detective's death

(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - February 21st 2007 - the radio call came in, almost inaudible.

The voice on the other end yelling, "Officer down, Officer down."

The dispatcher asked for the officer to repeat himself. That's when the unthinkable was heard. "Shots Fired! Shots Fired! Officer Down!"

The Police Chief of the Toledo Police Department at the time, Chief Mike Navarre remembers getting woken up by a phone call telling him an officer was shot and that it didn't look good.

"It's a moment that you can never fully prepare yourself for," explained Navarre.

It was a single shot to Detective Keith Dressel's chest, a mortal wound.

An officer was sent to Keith's home to get his wife Danielle Dressel to the hospital.

"I got woken up by someone banging on my door," Danielle remembered.

At the time her children, Noah and Sydney, were asleep. An officer stayed at the house while Danielle was taken to the hospital in the thick fog.

Keith's father, Mike Dressel, was also escorted to the hospital, but his mother, Larraine, went to watch the kids.

She was one of the last in the family to learn of his passing.

Chief Navarre remembers the moment.

"We were standing at the entrance of the ER and Larraine was coming in. She didn't know Keith died. I was standing there when Mike told her," Chief Navarre said, not able to finish his thought without getting emotional. He finally finished by saying, "That was tough. I still can't talk about it."

WATCH: Jerry Anderson sits down with Chief Mike Navarre following Dressel's death (2007)

Mike Dressel says telling his wife what happened was one of the hardest things he has ever done.

"I couldn't come up with the words to tell her what happened when she came in the doors," Mike remembered. "I just couldn't say those words."

Detective Kermit Quinn was called in to interview Sherman Powell, a suspect arrested at the scene, to try to get him to give up the name of his friend who shot Dressel.

"I wanted to know who did it and get him off the street," Quinn said.

Powell did admit that it was Robert Jobe. He was with Jobe that night, a juvenile with a record and a probation officer.

That probation officer arranged for Jobe to surrender to Chief Navarre.

"Jobe was very concerned that he was going to be harmed when taken into custody," said Navarre.

Chief Navarre personally drove Jobe's probation officer along with two members of SWAT to make the arrest.

Detective Kermit Quinn got the confession.

"I said, 'Man the gate is up. You need to tell us what happened. We talked to your boy Sherman. We have witnesses. We have this.' And finally he told us 'Ok I'm going to tell you what happened,'" Quinn remembered.

As police worked the case, donations and gifts poured in to Keith's family and the department.

Signs of love and support were everywhere in Toledo.

Gestures that caught his widow off guard.

"I just remember thinking, I can't believe all of this is for Keith," Danielle said, taking a pause to fight back tears. She continued, "It was an awesome sight it was an amazing sight to see."

Ten years later, there is still a hole in the hearts of those who love Keith that will never be filled.

"I was just lying in bed last night and my stomach got in knots. And my eyes got wet thinking about having to call Keith's brother and sister and tell them the news. I really relived it again this morning," explained Mike Dressel.

Keith's son Noah has grown up to be a young man only knowing of his father through stories told. But family says he is a mini-Keith through his mannerisms and looks.

"There are days I look into his eyes and I see him," Danielle said. "I know he is there. And it's a silly thought, but I feel him there and I feel him around."

And Danielle has started a new chapter with a police officer who she says has taken on Noah and Sydney as his own.  They have also expanded their family.

And Danielle has found healing and comfort by working at TPD herself for the past 10 years.

"Even though I have this new life, he is still in my heart, and I still think about him," Danielle said. "And I still love him, and I just regret that day ever happened. I just wish I could turn back time but I can't."

Danielle and everyone else who knew and loved Toledo Police Detective Keith Dressel.

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2017 WTOL. All rights reserved.