Cleveland officer’s shooting death followed by another cop taking own life

Cleveland officer’s shooting death followed by another cop taking own life
Editor’s note: This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The Cleveland Police Department was reeling Friday after the loss of two of their own – one officer shot and killed while on duty and another dead by suicide, according to reports.

“I don’t think anybody out there can really understand what the division is going through,” Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said in an emotional news conference Friday, according to Cleveland.com. “The loss of an officer in the line of duty, especially to violence, is a terrible tragedy. But two officers in one night is really bad.”

Veteran Officer James Skernivitz, 54, was fatally shot around 10 p.m. Thursday while working undercover. Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting in which another man also was killed,  FOX 8 in Cleveland reported.

CLEVELAND POLICE OFFICER SHOT, KILLED; 3 SUSPECTS REPORTEDLY ARRESTED

Officer James Skernivitz was fatatlly shot THursday night, authorities say.

Officer James Skernivitz was fatatlly shot THursday night, authorities say.

Skernivitz had been with the department since 1998.

Then, just hours after Skernivitz’s death, police confirmed that Officer Nick Sabo, 39, had taken his own life.

Sabo had posted on social media about the shooting but it wasn’t clear what led to his death. The department is investigating, Cleveland.com reported.

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Skernivitz had been sworn in as a member of the Violent Crime Task Force to work as part of Operation Legend this past Wednesday. The federal operation has aimed to crack down on violent crime in several major U.S. cities.

Williams said the officers knew each other, according to FOX 8.

Both men were husbands and fathers, according to Cleveland.com.

Fox News’ Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.

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