Cleveland police officer fatally shot; search underway for suspect: reports

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Cleveland police officer fatally shot; search underway for suspect: reports

A manhunt was underway in Cleveland early Friday after a veteran police officer was fatally shot Thursday night, according to reports.Killed in the

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A manhunt was underway in Cleveland early Friday after a veteran police officer was fatally shot Thursday night, according to reports.

Killed in the shooting was Officer James Skernivitz, 53, who had been with the department since 1998, sources told Cleveland.com.

“Cleveland lost one of its finest in the line of duty,” police Chief Calvin Williams said, according to FOX 8. “He was out doing what all police officers do – trying to protect the people of our city – and he gave his life.”

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The chief did not confirm the officer’s identity but described the shooting victim as an “excellent” member of the force.

The shooting happened in the west side of the city around 10 p.m., police union president Jeff Follmer told FOX 8.

The police officer had been riding in a patrol car that was fired upon several times, with the car crashing, sources told the station.

The officer died of his wounds after being transported to a hospital.

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A second person died in the incident but details about that death were not immediately clear.

Dozens of police officers were soon seen at the crime scene as an investigation got underway, Cleveland.com reported.

No information was immediately available about the suspect or suspects.

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