SJPD Star


SJPD Fallen Officers

Officer John Covalesk

Officer John Covalesk

1916 - 1950

Killed in the Line of Duty November 15, 1950

We Honor the Sacrifice He Made

On the night of November 15, 1950, Officer Covalesk was working a midnight walking beat in the downtown area. At approximately 0500 hours, he called dispatch to check in as he was required, every hour, to ensure his safety.

At approximately 0540 hours, Officer Covalesk located a door at 42 East San Fernando that had been pried open. As Officer Covalesk entered the building, the suspect, who had been hiding inside, opened fire.  Officer Covalesk was struck twice in the chest. As he went down, Officer Covalesk returned fire striking the suspect twice.  The suspect then stood over the still-conscious Officer Covalesk and fired one more round killing him. 

The suspect was taken into custody approximately 18 hours later in Emeryville.  He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Officer Covalesk was the third San Jose Police Officer killed in the line of duty.

We would like to remember Officer John Covalesk with a moment of silence.

The City of San José is committed to open and honest government and strives to consistently meet the community's expectations by
providing excellent service, in a positive and timely manner, and in the full view of the public. Read more about the City Code of Ethics.