Veteran St. Johns County Sgt. Michael Kunovich to be laid to rest

Husband, father of two collapsed and died following struggle during arrest.

St. Johns County Sergeant Michael Kunovich

Jacksonville, Fl — A final farewell - a funeral for St. Johns County Sergeant Michael Kunovich is this morning, followed by a procession to Oaklawn Cemetary.

Services will begin at 10:00 am at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church off Old St. Augustine Road. Around 8:45 am, Sgt. Kunovich will be escorted from Hardage-Giddens on St. Johns Parkway to the church.

Following the service, SJSO will escort Sgt. Kunovich to his final resting place at Oaklawn Cemetery. Anyone wishing to pay respects roadside are encouraged to follow the routes detailed below.

Kunovich died last week from medical distress after a struggle with 18-year-old suspect Vergilio Aguilar Mendez turned into a violent fight. Mendez is facing a felony murder charge.

SJSO said that Kunovich was a 25-year member of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and most recently served as a Sergeant in the Central Region. He worked in various capacities, including as a Reserve Deputy before coming on board full-time, a Senior Law Enforcement Deputy, a Senior Internal Affairs Detective, and a Patrol Shift Leader.

Kunovich received numerous awards, including Meritorious Service Awards in 2003 and 2013, an Exceptional Service Award in 2010, and many letters of commendation.

Kunovich also served on the SJSO SWAT Team for five years and during that time, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from Flagler College.

He is survived by his family, including his two sons. St. Johns County Sheriff Robert Hardwick released the following statement:

“Sergeant Kunovich will be deeply missed by not only his immediate family and his family at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, but also by our community. Sergeant Kunovich was a valued member of the St. Johns County Office who passionately dedicated his career to keeping our community safe.”

The Sheriff’s Office thanks the community for its support in mourning Kunovich’s loss and asks for continued prayers for his family, friends and colleagues.


Rich Jones

Rich Jones, News 104.5 WOKV

Rich Jones is the Host of Jacksonville’s Morning News. Rich joined WOKV in October 2006. Rich is involved in many community organizations and causes. Rich and his wife, Noelle, have three children: Avery, Harper and Austen.

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