CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team learned through a law enforcement source close to the investigation that police arrested three people in connection with the shooting death of a police officer.
The FOX 8 I-Team confirms a Cleveland officer’s car was shot multiple times at West 65th and Storer Avenue around 10 p.m. Thursday.
Det. James Skernivitz, 53, suffered a gunshot wound to the torso, causing injuries to his heart and lungs, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office. He died at MetroHealth Medical Center at 10:33 p.m. Thursday.
Another man was also killed.
EMS tells FOX 8 the other person was a 50-year-old man. He was critical when taken from the scene, but died at the hospital.
Det. Skernivitz was a 25-year veteran of the Cleveland Division of Police.
“This officer was out doing what police officers do: trying to protect the people of this city and he gave his life.”
Police Chief Calvin Williams spoke about the officer outside Metro Health Medical Center overnight.
“We definitely need the prayers of the people in this city,” Chief Williams said.
“Pray for our folks. Pray for our city. Pray for his family, too.”
“This one hurts,” Police Union President Jeff Follmer told FOX 8.
Follmer says Det. James Skernivitz died at the hospital after the shooting.
Follmer said he was a great guy and a great officer.
FOX 8 crews at the hospital saw one officer bringing an American flag.
Many officers with the Cleveland Division of Police came to the hospital, as did Chief Williams and Mayor Frank Jackson.
“We still have an ongoing investigation. We’re still looking for a suspect or suspects in this case,” Chief Williams said.
An area where the shooting took place remained blocked off Friday morning as police look for evidence.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 216-25-CRIME or 216-623-5464.
The FBI has also established a tipline.
If you have any information please call 216-622-6842.
There is a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.