WESTLAND, Mich. - Westland police made an arrest Thursday after a massive manhunt for the driver who fatally struck a Wayne County sheriff's sergeant in a hit-and-run at Hines Park.
The Wayne County Sheriff's Department won't speculate, but officials are investigating whether Smith was targeted due to his involvement in a high-profile case.
"I pray to God that Lee is looking down, and (I hope) he could see the department," Deputy Reserve Officer Lou Ferris said.
Deputies and friends shared a poignant moment and a private prayer to pay their respects at a growing memorial for Smith.
"I wish he knew how many people cared for him," Ferris said.
Police said the driver who struck Smith dragged him about 50 yards before taking off.
"For somebody to do this to him -- it wasn't supposed to happen," Ferris said.
Westland police arrested a 47-year-old Detroit man Thursday in Garden City. Shortly afterward, they recovered a 2012 Buick Enclave in Inkster that's believed to be the vehicle that struck Smith.
Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said tips from the public, technology and dedicated police officers came together for the arrest.
"With technology, we knew the net was closing in," Napoleon said.
Smith was in charge of both the motor and mounted units for the Wayne County Sheriff's Department, where he worked for more than 25 years.
He put in for his retirement shortly before his was killed.
"His idea to retire was to go out on top," Ferris said. "This was not the way."
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