CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – Three teenagers are now charged in connection with the murder of Cleveland Police Detective James Skernivitz and a citizen last week.
David McDaniel, 18, was taken into custody early Tuesday and charged with two counts of aggravated murder.
McDaniel is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Cleveland Municipal Court.
A 17-year-old Cleveland male was arrested Friday.
He has been charged with 11 counts; including, aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and felonious assault in connection with the fatal shootings of Skernivitz and citizen, Scott Dingess.
The 17-year-old male pleaded not guilty in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Tuesday morning.
He is being held without bond.
A 15-year-old Cleveland boy is also charged with 11 counts; including, aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and felonious assault.
Skernivitz, 53, was shot and killed in the line of duty around 10 p.m. Sept. 3 in the area of W. 65th Street and Storer Avenue.
He was pronounced dead at MetroHealth Hospital late Thursday evening, said police.
Police said Skernivitz and Dingess, 50, were ambushed while sitting in Skernivitz’s police vehicle.
Cleveland police also have an additional three people in custody who have not been charged.
The sixth suspect was arrested late Tuesday morning at a gas station on the city’s West side.
Skernivitz became a police officer in February of 1998 was a nearly 25-year veteran of the Cleveland police department.
He was assigned to the gang Gang Impact Unit and was recently sworn in as a Violent Crimes Task Force officer with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working on the national law enforcement initiative Operation Legend.
He was also in the Cleveland honor guard.
When he applied to become an officer, Skernivitz wrote, “Being a police officer would give me the chance to work and help the public and a chance to keep the city in which I grew up safe.”
“He was the one you’d want to duplicate over and over again because he did the work the way it was supposed to be done,” Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said.
“Detective Skernivitz dedicated his life to the citizens of Cleveland and made our city a safer place,” said Director of Public Safety Karrie D. Howard.
Skernivitz was married with two adult children.
His funeral is scheduled for Sept. 11 at The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call 911 or Crimestoppers at 216-25-CRIME.
The FBI has also set up a tip line at 216-622-6842.
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