DETROIT - Local 4 sources have identified 40-year-old Myron Jarrett as the officer killed in a hit-and-run on the city's west side overnight.
Jarrett protected the city of Detroit for eight years, three of those spent at the 12th Precinct. He was a father of four, with one of his children having special needs.
"I want Officer Jarrett's wife and children to know there are 700,000 people in the city who are sharing their grief tonight," Mayor Mike Duggan said.
Outside the 12th Precinct the flag is at half-staff. They're honoring the man who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the city he loved.
Chief James Craig described how his fellow officers remember their fallen brother.
"They called him 'Salt and Pepper' because he had salt-and-pepper hair," Craig said. "They would also tease him because he was the only person to walk around with a leather ticket book. They called it his man purse. He was very proud of that ticket book."
Jarrett and another officer were responding to a call about assistance needed at a traffic stop Friday night.
Police said that when Jarrett was at the scene of a traffic stop, a man driving a white van drove toward the officer. Officers near Jarrett yelled for him to get out of the way, but he could not move in time and was struck. The impact of the crash threw Jarrett 30 feet into the intersection.
"The first police vehicle was struck by the suspect. Right after that collision, Officer Jarrett was struck," Craig said.
Police said the driver of that vehicle got out of the car and fled on foot.
"We don't think it was intentional," Craig said.
Jarrett was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Steven Patrick Guzina, 54, was later arrested for leaving the scene of a deadly crash involving a police officer, authorities said.
As the investigation continues, Detroit police are forced to mourn the loss of yet another officer.
"He loved serving the citizens and neighborhoods of the 12th Precinct. He loved his job," Craig said.
Duggan released a statement regarding the death of Jarrett:
"Our thoughts and prayers go out today to the family of Ofc. Myron Jarrett, the fallen DPD officer who lost his life last night while serving and protecting our city. Our hearts also are with his DPD family. Despite the grief they are feeling today, the men and women of the Detroit Police Department responded quickly and professionally to locate and arrest the person responsible for Officer Jarrett's death."
"I think what stood out, they have never seen him angry or frustrated," Craig said. "His service to the community was important. He really wanted to make a difference, and he did make a difference."
The suspect’s dark habits
Guzina is known for his wife’s popular Tiajuana Mexican Kitchen restaurants around Detroit, but family members of Guzina said there are darker details about the man who was accused of Friday night’s fatal hit-and-run.
Police said they immediately identified Guzina because the van which struck Jarrett, which was still at the scene of the crash, was registered to him.
Guzina was later tracked down near Grand River and Schaeffer avenues and was taken into custody.
Police said Guzina refused to take a Breathalyzer test, and a search warrant was prepared to draw blood to test for drugs and alcohol.
Before Guzina was located, officers went to his home in Lincoln Park, where a woman, believed to be his wife or ex-wife, answered the door and spoke to investigators.
Sources said the woman told investigations Guzina frequently visits the area of the hit-and-run while allegedly going on "crack cocaine benders."
Witnesses at the crash site said a woman was seen running from Guzina's van, but family members said they don’t know who that woman could be. Sources speculate that Guzman may have picked up a prostitute.
Family members told investigators that Guzina lost half of his family business due to his alleged drug problem.
Craig told reporters during a press conference that Jarrett was an eight-year veteran of the force and a father of four, with one of his children having special needs.
Craig said Jarrett had been at the 12th Precinct for the last three years.
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