Thousands pay respects to murdered Cleveland police detective

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MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW)– Calling hours were held Thursday for murdered Cleveland Police Det. James Skernivitiz.

Thousands of people, including officers, family and friends of the fallen officer, paid their respects at A. Ripepi and Sons Funeral Home in Middleburg Heights.

Command staff offered a final salute.

“I just want to let Northeast Ohio and the city of Cleveland know that we really appreciate the support,” Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said. “Jimmy was a great guy, he worked hard doing the things we need done in this city, and he’s going to be missed. He’s really going to be missed.”

Skernivitz was murdered on Sept. 3 while working undercover on the city’s west side. He and an informant were in Skernivitz’s unmarked car when they were each shot and killed during an attempted robbery, according to investigators. Three people have been charged in the murders.

Cleveland police detective James Skernivitz
Cleveland police detective James Skernivitz (courtesy: Cleveland Division of Police)

Skernivitz was a husband, father of three and 22-year veteran of the Cleveland Division of Police, assigned to its Gang Impact Unit and working as part of Operation Legend when he was killed.

“In times like these, we really see how much we support each other in Northeast Ohio, and it’s evident. And Det. Skernivitz’s family, they see it, they hear it and they appreciate it,” Williams said.

A funeral procession from the funeral home to downtown Cleveland is planned for Friday morning, ahead of a private 10 a.m. funeral service at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

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