Manhunt Launched After Veteran Cleveland Police Officer Shot Dead on Duty

A search is underway for a suspect accused of shooting dead a veteran officer from the Cleveland Police Department.

The officer was killed in the line of duty following a shooting which occurred in the area of W. 65th Street and Storer Avenue at around 10 p.m. on September 3.

"Very little information is available at this time," Cleveland Police tweeted "We are asking that anyone with information call 9-1-1."

While the officer has not been formally identified, Cleveland.com and WKYC name the victim as 53-year-old James Skernivitz, a veteran of more than 25 years on the force.

In a press conference, police chief Calvin Williams described how "Cleveland lost one of its finest tonight" in the shooting.

"We still have an ongoing investigation and we're still looking for the suspects or suspects in this case," Williams said.

"We're asking the public's help, anybody who heard anything between 9:30 and 10 o'clock, anybody that saw anything, anybody that knows anything.

"We definitely need the prayers of the people in this city," Williams added. "This officer was out doing what all police officers do, trying to protect the people of this city and he gave his life. So we ask that you give his family a little room."

Williams said the department plans to give out more information about the shooting in due time as the investigation develops.

Williams also described the victim as an "excellent officer" with an "excellent record" during his 25 years as an officer.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson added: "Personally, I want to give my condolences to the family on behalf of the city of Cleveland."

One other person who is not an officer is also confirmed to have died at the scene of the shooting. The second victim, who is reported to have been in Skernivitz's car at the time, has not been identified but is not believed to be the suspect in the shooting.

Jeff Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, also described the victim as a "great officer" while reiterating the details surrounding the shooting are still being gathered.

"This is a bad one," Follmer added. "They're all bad, but this one hurts."

Cleveland Police have been contacted for further comment.

Anyone with information about the shooting is being asked to call the Cleveland police homicide unit at (216) 623-5464, 911, or report anonymously through CrimeStoppers by calling 216-25-CRIME.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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(File photo) A police officer wears a body camera on during an anti-Donald Trump protest in Cleveland, Ohio, near the Republican National Convention site July 18, 2016. A manhunt is underway for a suspect accused of shooting dead a Cleveland police officer. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty