Shooting kills Cleveland police officer James Skernivitz; suspects at large

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A shooting killed a Cleveland police officer and another person, and authorities on Friday sought the person or people responsible, officials said.

Detective James Skernivitz, 53, was shot around 10 p.m. Thursday on the west side.

Police Chief Calvin Williams told reporters that Skernivitz was with the department for 25 years, saying, "Cleveland lost one of its finest."

Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Jeff Follmer said a second person, who was not an officer but was in Skernivitz's car, also died. Details about that person weren't immediately released by police.

Investigators appealed to the public for help in finding a suspect or suspects. The FBI in Cleveland offered a cash reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Gov. Mike DeWine ordered the U.S. and state flags to be flown at half-staff at public buildings in Cuyahoga County and at the Statehouse in Columbus.

It has been more than 10 years since an on-duty Cleveland police officer was fatally shot.

Patrol Officer Derek Owens, 36, was killed in February 2008 while chasing a suspect. Owens caught up to the man, who turned and shot Owens in the abdomen below his bulletproof vest.

The man was found guilty of aggravated murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole.
Copyright © 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.