I-Team: Cleveland police detective killed was 25-year veteran

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Cleveland Division of Police Detective James Skernivitz died from injuries in a shooting that happened on the city’s west side around 10 p.m. Thursday.

The FOX 8 I-Team confirmed the detective, who was a 25-year veteran on the force, was in the car with another person near W. 65th and Storer when the vehicle was shot multiple times.

Police sources tell the FOX 8 I-Team they believe more than one person shot the officer.

Detective Skernivitz, 53, was killed, as was one other person, who has not been identified.

Police Chief Calvin Williams was visibly upset when he spoke about the officer’s death at Metro Health Medical Center overnight.

“This officer was out doing what police officers do: trying to protect the people of this city and he gave his life,” Chief Williams said.

Cleveland officers were seen at the hospital for several hours as they paid their respects.

“Pray for our folks. Pray for our city. Pray for his family, too,” Chief Williams said.

“This one hurts,” Police Union President Jeff Follmer told FOX 8.

Follmer described the detective as a “great officer and a great guy.”

The search for suspects is underway.

If you have information, call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 216-25-CRIME.

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