But so far, Cuyahoga County prosecutors have not decided if the shooter will be charged with murder.
Just two weeks short of what would have been Steve Secala’s 42nd birthday, his family said goodbye to him at a small memorial service in Elyria.
It was seven years ago at the corner of W. 147th and Lorain that Secala was shot in the neck.
It left him a quadriplegic - a ventilator breathing for him.
“He depended totally on nurses and aides,” said mother Sandy Safar. “He could not do anything for himself.”
The person who shot him is Keith Fodor.
The Cuyahoga prosecutor’s office says Fodor is serving a total of nine years for felonious assault after a plea agreement.
But on June 26th, Steve Secala died in Canton after complications from being on the ventilator.
“Stark County Coroner’s Office declared it a homicide,” said Renee Bublavy, Steve’s sister.
The family now hopes Keith Fodor would be charged with a different crime.
“I would like to see Keith prosecuted for murder since this is a direct result of the gunshot,” one family member said.
The family says prosecutors told them they aren’t going to charge Fodor with murder because of a plea deal he made back in ‘98.
“They told me that there’s some sort of sentence that he would plead guilty if nothing further could be done to him,” another explained.
At the Justice Center Wednesday evening, prosecutors refused to do an on camera interview, saying the investigation is ongoing, even though the shooting was seven years ago.
Prosecutors say they still have to get more information from the Stark County coroner and police before making a decision.
There’s no indication on what they’re going to do, but they do say they haven’t ruled out the possibility that Keith Fodor will be charged with something more serious.