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City shocked over Halton murder

James W. Wade III | 1/22/2014, 11:12 a.m.

Stephen Halton Jr. was robbed and killed while walking to a bus stop near E. 152nd Street and Lake Shore Boulevard. Halton, an anesthesiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, was going to work after being paged to come in that morning to help with an emergency liver transplant case.

All who knew Halton, 30, said he was a great husband and father. He had received a promotion and even created a website for his church. The saying about the fruit does not fall far from the tree was true with young Halton who admired his father.

Cleveland City Councilman Mike Polensek is very upset that something like this happen to this young man.

“I can not believe you cannot get up and get dressed to go to work at an honest job and still get killed doing right,” said Polensek.

Polensek held a community meeting last Wednesday night at the B&M Barbecue across the street from where the shooting took place. The following day, a candlelight vigil was held nearby has well.

Family members say a New Year meant new opportunities on the horizon for Halton, who was on the verge of getting his dream IT job at the Cleveland Clinic before being gunned down.

“You just shake your head and say ‘Why?’ What did they get from him? Nothing! He lost his life over nothing. We want justice. We want no stone left unturned. We want to try and bring these perpetrators to justice,” said Polensek.

Det. Jennifer Ciaccia, a police spokeswoman, said a gun was confiscated Monday during the arrest of a 17-year-old boy suspected in a string of armed robberies that took place about the same time Halton was killed.

The arrested teen was among a group of six suspects accused of robbing three men on two separate occasions Monday in the Humphrey Park area, according to a police report.

One of the victims was able to direct police to the gang, which scattered when officers arrived. Officers caught up with the 17-year-old and found a ditched 9 mm pistol during a search of the area, the report said.

Now they have five young teens 15, 16, 17 years old indentified as in association with those crimes. He believes they may know more about Halton’s murder.

“I’m not saying we have this homicide figured out but there is some relation here. Now it’s going to take good police work and hopefully someone who saw or heard something to give us more information,” said Cleveland Police Commander Wayne Drummond.

A celebration of Halton’s life was held on last Friday at Bethlehem Temple of Praise, 2607 Archwood Avenue, in Parma. This past Saturday hundreds filled the Pentecostal Church of Christ to celebrate the life Halton, Jr.

Today the online donation fund established in his memory has raised over $37,000, not worth a life, but a great showing of support. A Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman confirmed the fund was set up by Halton’s fellow residents to help his wife and two young children.