Detroit police make arrest in 84-year-old church guard's killing

Detroit police search for 2nd suspect in 84-year-old church guard's killing

Published On: May 16 2012 04:43:21 PM EDT   Updated On: May 16 2012 06:40:10 PM EDT
Joseph Lewis
DETROIT -

Detroit police sources have confirmed with Local 4 that one person has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of an 84-year-old church security guard.

Joseph Lewis, 84, was killed May 8 while he was guarding the parking lot at Victory Way Assembly Church of God in Christ, which is in the 5300 block of Tireman Street.

Lewis was shot to death, police said. He worked for a security firm and had been watching the parking lot for the past several months, church leaders said.

Watch: 84-year-old guard killed outside Detroit church

Witnesses told police Lewis was approached by two young black men who attempted to rob him. When Lewis showed the men his gun, they shot him in the chest. They quickly fled the parking lot on foot.

Police are searching for a second suspect.

Police sources say the man they arrested Wednesday does not live far from the church.

Lewis' best friend, Wilhemina Shumate, was across the street when he was shot. She held his hand.

Watch: Friend recall final moments with Lewis

"I think he heard me when I was talking to him," Shumate said. "I said, 'I love you,' and, 'just hold on.'"

Lewis had just gotten her dinner before the shooting. She calls him “a gift from God.”

The pastor of the church, Sylvester Rowan, says he will hold bible study in the parking lot Wednesday in honor of Lewis.

Services for Lewis will be at noon Friday at the O.H. Pye Funeral Home on Plymouth Road.

The Detroit Headquarters Surveillance Unit, Detroit Police Homicide Unit and Michigan State Police have been investigating the case.

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