Corporal James John Szuba

Corporal James John Szuba

Mishawaka Police Department, Indiana

End of Watch Saturday, January 9, 2010

James John Szuba

Corporal James Szuba and his canine partner, Ricky, were killed when their squad car was struck while assisting with a pursuit.

At about 9:20 pm, Corporal Szuba was proceeding northbound on Byrkit Avenue as it turns into Fir Road when his squad car was sideswiped by a drunken driver being pursued by another officer. The suspect had swerved around a vehicle parked at the stoplight at McKinley Highway when he hit the oncoming squad car of Corporal Szuba and Ricky, who were both killed instantly.

The 31-year-old suspect, who had a blood-alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit, was on probation for an 18-month sentence for delivery and manufacturing of marijuana. He was later convicted and sentenced to 32½ years for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death, resisting law enforcement and possession of controlled substances.

Corporal Szuba had served with the Mishawaka Police Department for over 7½ years. He was survived by his wife, son, daughter, mother, two brothers and two sisters. One brother currently serves as a sergeant and their father was a retired officer with the South Bend Police Department.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 7 years, 10 months
  • Badge 20172

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile; Alcohol involved
  • Offender Sentenced to 32½ years

Most Recent Reflection

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Jim, another year without you with me. Happy 31st Anniversary in Heaven. Missing you is so hard, everything in life is dimmed because you’re not here with me to enjoy them. All the milestone, good and bad, are hard because I miss you and you can’t be here to share them. I hate that Everything is still in black and white since you’ve been gone instead of bright and colorful. I miss your smile, holding your hand, you’re strength, the way you made me smile everyday just by being you. I miss you telling me you love me and making me always feel loved and safe. I miss our long drives and hours of fishing, me mowing the yard and you smiling and shaking your head at me. I miss that you can’t be here to hold our grandchildren and teach them all you know or still here to continue to teach our children. My heart hurts all the time and on days like this special one it’s impossible to fake being ok. I was blessed to have you in my life as long as I could I loved you then, I love you more now. I miss you so much. Give Rocky and Sam a big hug from mama.
All my love is being sent to you in Heaven
Love, Debbie


October 17, 2018

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