Detective James Michael Skernivitz

Detective James Michael Skernivitz

Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio

End of Watch Thursday, September 3, 2020

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James Michael Skernivitz

Detective James Skernivitz was shot and killed at about 10:00 pm in the area of West 65th Street and Storer Avenue while working in an undercover capacity as part of a federal task force supporting Operation Legend.

An informant who was with Detective Skernivitz was also killed when three subjects approached the vehicle and attempted to rob them.

Two juveniles and an adult were arrested and charged with aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, and felonious assault. One juvenile was sentenced to six years in a juvenile facility. If he does well in the facility, he will be free when he is 21; if not, he will receive an adult prison sentence of 23 years to life. A 17-year-old subject pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated murder and two counts of robbery and received prison for life with eligibility for parole in 28 years. One adult pleaded guilty to two counts of obstructing justice and one count of tampering with evidence in the case and received 18 months in prison. Another adult faces obstruction of justice charges, and the other subject's trial will be in 2023.

Detective Skernivitz had served with the Cleveland Division of Police for 22 years and was assigned to the Gang Impact Unit and the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force. He is survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 53
  • Tour 22 years
  • Badge 2249

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Charged with murder

undercover, robbery, juvenile offender

Most Recent Reflection

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May God and St. Michael watch over you in Heaven, Detective Skernivitz.

Patrolman Kenneth Collins
South Amherst Police Department

September 3, 2023

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