END OF WATCH: May 11, 1967
Cleveland Police Department
On May 11, 1967 at 5:00 am, Patrolman Steven J. Huber was shot to death. He joined the Cleveland Police Department in 1965 and was a member of the so-called “green beret” unit, a special police task force. The crime stopping task force was organized in March 1966, with fourteen men. Patrolman Huber volunteered for the unit one month prior to his death and was the first member of this unit to be killed in the line of duty.
Patrolman Huber, driving with his partners, Patrolmen George Isherwood and Raymond Broughton, were in an unmarked car responding to a radio notification of a burglary at the Artex Cleaners at 8913 Superior Avenue. As the officers approached the scene, they heard a shot. The bullet blew out a window on the left-hand side of the cruiser. Huber was shot near the left eye and died five minutes after he was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital.
While responding to the scene, Patrolman Donald Bagnel spotted a man running north near the scene. Bagnel ordered the male to halt and the male turned with a revolver in his hand stating, “I’ll kill you.” Bagnel fired and the male stooped behind a car and again pointed a revolver at Bagnel. Bagnel fired again striking the suspect in the arm causing him to drop the gun.
The suspect was identified as 18 year old Raymond Watson. Watson admitted to burglarizing the cleaners and shooting at the cruiser. Watson had a record for purse snatching and strong armed robbery and was previously charged with accidentally shooting another youth with a target pistol and received probation.
Steve J. Huber’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 47, west wall, line 16.
By A.O. Preyer, Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society