Corporal James John Szuba

Corporal James John Szuba

Mishawaka Police Department, Indiana

End of Watch Saturday, January 9, 2010

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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 the 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. He was released in 2022.

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. His father and one brother retired from the South Bend Police Department. His son, also a K9 Hander, serves with the St. Joseph County Police Department, and his daughter is a police dispatcher.


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

Incident Details

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

DUI, pursuit, vehicle crash

Most Recent Reflection

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Jim it’s been 14 years since you and Ricky were taken from us. I miss you so much , it never gets easier being without you. I honestly believe I started dying the day you were taken from me. It’s been so hard not having you here with me. I miss you so much and I love you forever. Until we can be together again I love you. Give Ricky boy a hug from mama as another year starts without you both. Always and forever.

Debbie Szuba

January 9, 2024

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