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Detroit cop killed in hit-and-run 'always positive'

Charles E. Ramirez, and Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit Police officer Myron Jarrett was “always positive,” “a professional cop,” and loved to use traffic stops as teaching moments, Police Chief James Craig said Saturday.

Detroit Police Officer Myron Jarrett was fatally killed in a hit-and-run incident Friday night.

Jarrett, 40, was killed late Friday in a hit-and-run incident on the city’s west side.

“His fellow officers all said he was a nice man, a professional police officer who really served his community with distinction,” the police chief said. “One of the things he liked to do was write tickets because he would talk to people, he would counsel them.”

“That’s the kind of police officer he was,” he said. “He was respected not only by the people he worked with, but also the people he served. He certainly will be missed.”

Police Chief James Craig gives solemn remarks on the death of Officer Myron Jarrett, who was killed in a hit-and-run incident late Friday night, on Saturday, October 29, 2016.

Craig made the remarks during a news conference Saturday in the lobby of the department’s 12th precinct, where Jarrett was stationed. Craig was joined by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

“Officer Jarrett’s wife and children know that 700,000 Detroiters share their grief tonight,” he said. “They’re in our thoughts and our prayers.”

The man suspected of driving the cargo van in the hit-and-run was arrested early Saturday, officials said.

Police said Steven Patrick Guzina was taken into custody without incident in the area of Grand River and Schaefer.

Craig said the department plans to formally request early Sunday the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office charge Guzina for the crime.

Jarrett was assisting in a traffic investigation at Puritan and Monica around 10:30 p.m. Friday when Guzina allegedly crashed into the officer and at least three vehicles, police said.

Craig said Saturday he will not divulge details of the ongoing investigation into the hit-and-run, but it appears Jarrett was not targeted.

An eight-year veteran and a father of four, Jarrett was pronounced dead at a hospital on Friday night.

Craig called the incident “tragic.”

Craig said Jarrett, who had worked at the 12th precinct for the last three years, was given the nickname “Salt-n-Pepper” because of his hair’s color.

His fellow officers affectionately referred to his leather-bound ticket book as his “man purse” because he was rarely seen without it, the chief said.

They also told the chief they had never seen Jarrett angry and that “he loved his job.”

Craig also said a TV crew had gone to the family’s home seeking comment earlier Saturday and he asked the media to give Jarrett’s family its privacy during their grief.

Earlier in the day, Duggan issued a statement expressing his “thoughts and prayers” to Jarrett’s family and praised the police department for the quick arrest of a suspect.

“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,” Duggan said.

Steven Patrick Guzina

Guzina, 54, of Lincoln Park, is married to restauranteur Marisa Garcia, according to public records. She is the owner of Tijuana’s Mexican Kitchen in Dearborn and Lincoln Park.

The death of Jarrett is the second in a month of a Detroit Police officer killed in the line of duty.

On Sept. 17. Sgt. Kenneth Steil’s died in a hospital five days after being shot allegedly by Marquise Cromer, who was wanted for allegedly shooting his father and carjacking a 23-year-old man the day before.

Cromer faces charges of murder of a peace officer, first-degree murder and resisting and obstructing a police officer causing death.

“There’s been way too much sadness in the city,” Duggan said. “This is just a reminder of one of the ways that our police officers are in danger everyday.”

cramirez@detroitnews.com