State Sen. Virgil Smith arrested in connection with shooting near home


State Sen. Virgil Smith (D-Detroit)
  • State Sen. Virgil Smith (D-Detroit)

State Sen. Virgil Smith (D-Detroit) has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault with a gun and malicious destruction of property in connection with an alleged shooting outside his home on Detroit’s north side, according to Detroit police spokesperson Officer Nicole Kirkwood.

Smith allegedly fired a gun several times at his girlfriend’s car outside his home on the 18600 block of Wexford, Kirkwood told MT on Monday.

A spokesperson for Smith could not be reached for comment Monday.

Kirkwood stressed repeatedly to MT it was still only alleged that Smith was involved in the shooting, and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Monday afternoon that it received a warrant request related to the incident, but is "returning the matter back to the Detroit Police Department requesting further investigation." But a copy of two police reports obtained by The Detroit News reveals stark details of what apparently took place.

As the News reports, Smith told police his ex-wife "stormed into his house and assaulted his girlfriend" before he says he did "the most stupid thing in his life": shooting a number of times at his ex-wife's vehicle. In a separate incident report, the News says Smith's ex-wife told officers the senator "was naked when he met her at the front door ... beat her with his fists, chased her outside and shot at her four or five times."

Evidence technicians found upwards of 10 suspected bullet holes across the vehicle, the News reports. 

The 35-year-old Smith has had several run-ins with law enforcement in the past. He was arrested in 2000 for minor in possession, according to the Secretary of State’s driving record on the senator, which present-day has no points. Then, in early 2004, he was charged with operating while impaired by liquor. Months later, he received an operating while intoxicated charge.

Smith's license was then revoked, said Fred Woodhams, spokesperson for the Michigan Secretary of State.

"He appealed his revocation in 2007 with the department and was issued a restricted license," Woodhams said. "In December 2008, he regained full driving privileges and has had a few minor driving violations since then."

Smith represents District 4, which encompasses parts of Detroit, Lincoln Park, Allen Park, and Southgate. He topped former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib last year in a close race to win a second term in the Michigan Senate.

Update Monday, May 11, 2015, 4:15 p.m.: This story has since been updated to include comments from the Secretary of State and Detroit police.