Officer John J. Covalesk

Officer John J. Covalesk

San Jose Police Department, California

End of Watch Wednesday, November 15, 1950

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John J. Covalesk

Officer John Covalesk was shot and killed while investigating a downtown burglary. He was shot as he entered a business after finding the door open. Despite being wounded, Officer Covalesk returned fire and wounded the suspect.

The suspect then shot Officer Covalesk in the head as he lay on the ground. The man was arrested and sentenced to life in prison, but released after serving only 11 years.

Officer Covalesk had served with the agency for seven months.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 7 months
  • Badge 70

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Released after serving 11 years

Most Recent Reflection

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Join members of the San Jose Police
Emerald Society and others in a
memorial service honoring Officer John
Covalesk who was killed in the line of
duty 68 years ago on November 15.
There will be a short memorial reading
and prayer. Others are invited to say a
few words if they like. It will close with
the playing of Amazing Grace. Please
arrive a few minutes early as the service
will start promptly at 6:00 pm and goes to 6:30pm at SJPD.

Sgt Brian Hyland RET.
San Jose Police Department/ San Jose Police Emerald Society

October 31, 2018

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