James Hearn / Family photo

Vigil For DPD Officer Killed In Double-Fatal Accident While Off-Duty

July 26, 2018 - 9:05 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - Nearly 200 people gathered on Detroit's east side Thursday evening -- to remember James Hearn -- who was killed in a crash early Thursday morning.

A member of the Detroit Police Department, 27-year-old Hearn apparently lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a light pole. He was killed along with a female passenger, identified only as his girlfriend. Hearn's 11-year-old daughter received minor injuries in the crash and was taken to the hospital. She has since been released. 

Justin and Elijah Hearn had nothing but praise for their brother at a vigil held in his honor:

"He was Superman, that dude was Superman. When I say my bother was the best - he was the best man I ever knew, outside of my grandfather. He had his spirit, you hear me? I don't know how he got around everybody to love everybody ... I don't know how he do it but he did it. Anybody who met him, loved him because ... he truly had a heart of gold."

Justin telling the people gathered that his brother's death will alter his own path:

"By all means, I plan to re-route my career and join the Detroit police .."

Polce Chief James Craig spoke of Hearn to WWJ shortly after the fatal accident. 

"He was quite accomplished during his short career with the department," Craig said, and one of his greatest achievements was earning a lifesaving award.

"He saved a life from a burning building. I don't know too many police officers, myself included, that we'd like to go into burning structures. Now, we might go and deal with gunfire, but fires -- absolutely not. But James is exceptional and he did that," Craig said. "This was an officer who in a short time distinguished himself in a major way."

Craig continued to praise Hearn, saying he left a lasting impression on the department as well as the community. 

"He touched everyone. If you knew James, you knew he had that magnetic smile," Craig said. "This is a time to recognize and memorialize this fine officer. And while his time was short, he did in fact make a mark. He made a mark not only with the people he worked with, but also with the citizens that he protected and served." 

Hearns' family says that he was returning home from night fishing when the accident occurred. 

Funeral arrangements are pending.