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3 teens facing multiple charges for death of CPD Detective James Skernivitz

West 65th Scene
Posted at 10:50 AM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 18:39:51-04

CLEVELAND — A 17-year-old and an 18-year-old accused of killing a veteran Cleveland police detective last week are facing a slew of charges in connection with the deaths of the detective and another man.

The 17-year-old has been charged with aggravated murder (five counts), murder (two counts), robbery (two counts), felonious assault and assault. Each charge also carries a 1-year and a 3-year firearm specification, according to court documents.

The 18-year-old, David McDaniel Jr., has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder, according to Cleveland Municipal Court records.

Detective James Skernivitz, 53, was shot and killed around 10 p.m. in the 3200 block of West 65th Street on Sept. 3. Another person, later identified as Scott Dingess, 50, was also killed. Police said Dingess was a victim of the shooting and not a suspect.

According to court documents, the 17-year-old allegedly knew that Skernivitz was an officer prior to the shooting and that he was on duty when the shooting occurred.

Court records state Skernivitz and Dingess were killed during an attempted robbery.

CPD Chief Calvin Williams said that Skernivitz was part of Operation Legend, a federal law enforcement effort taking place in cities across the country, including Cleveland. He was most recently assigned to the Gang Impact Unit. He started with CPD in 1998.

A 15-year-old also sought in connection with the shooting was arrested by the U.S. Marshals and Cleveland police Tuesday morning at a gas station in the 2200 block of Broadview Road in Cleveland.

“I want to commend the investigators in this case who dedicated every waking moment to ensure that the individuals responsible for this terrible crime were properly identified and taken into custody,” said Williams. “I am thankful to the citizens who came forward with information. Furthermore, I want to thank the community members who have offered their kind words of support and prayers. They are truly appreciated.”

The 15-year-old's charges haven't been announced.

"It is with a heavy heart that we make the announcement of the three individuals arrested believed to be responsible for the shooting death of our law enforcement colleague, Detective James Skernivitz,” said Special Agent in Charge, Eric Smith, Federal Bureau of Investigation. “The swift investigation completed by law enforcement, with numerous tips provided from the community, has been commendable – a true partnership. These three individuals will be held accountable for their heinous actions. Our continued thoughts and prayers to the Skernivitz family and our partners at the Cleveland Division of Police."

RELATED: 2 juveniles, 1 adult arrested in connection to the killing of CPD detective James Skernivitz

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