Funeral arrangements set for St. Johns Sgt. Michael Kunovich, who died in the line of duty

Funeral arrangements have been announced for St. Johns County Sergeant Michael Kunovich, who died in the line of duty on Friday, May 19.

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.


Sergeant Kunovich’s viewing will be on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Hardage Giddens at 1285 St. Johns Parkway in St. Johns. His funeral service will be Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at 11757 Old St. Augustine Road in Jacksonville.

A procession will be made to Oaklawn Cemetery at 4801 San Jose Boulevard in Jacksonville immediately following the funeral service. A route will be released in the coming days so that those wishing to pay their respects roadside can do so.

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.

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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.

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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.

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