On May 25, 2007 31-year-old police officer Jason West was responding to the report of a large fight on Altamont Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. When he arrived at the scene, one of the young men, Timothy Halton Jr., fired multiple shots at West before attempting to shed his clothes and flee the scene.
Timothy Halton Jr., then 29 years old, is now serving a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole for killing Jason West that day.
And similar to the story we hearing this week with the case of Jared Loughner and the shooting in Tucson, Arizona...the warning signs were there. Halton had a prior convictions. He was convicted of assaulting a police officer. He had displayed violent behavior in the past, convicted on domestic violence charge. But he was also mentally ill, suffering as a paranoid schizophrenic. If Halton had been accurately diagnosed and comprehensively treated from the beginning, could a tragedy have been prevented?
Jeannette Halton-Tiggs is the mother of Timothy Halton Jr. and Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, is the chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University. They talk to Alina Cho.