Man Sought In Cleveland Facebook Killing Is Dead

Posted April 19, 2017

The man suspected of killing a Cleveland man and posting a video of the murder on Facebook fatally shot himself after a "brief pursuit" by Pennsylvania State Police officers on Tuesday, police said.

The Pennsylvania State Police says Steve Stephens was located by police Tuesday morning in Erie County, in the State's north-east.

On Sunday, Stephens allegedly shot and killed 74-year-old Robert Godwin, Sr., on E. 93rd Street and posted video of the killing to his Facebook account.

In a separate video posted on Facebook, Stephens claimed to have killed more than a dozen other people.

For two days, authorities across the country scrambled to find Stephens, the man wanted for the death of Robert Godwin - a self-taught mechanic and grandfather of 14. Facebook said it removed the video 23 minutes after learning of it.

Initially, after the murder, Cleveland police said that they had received a ping from Stephens's cell phone from the Erie area. Local authorities confirmed Stephens killed himself in Erie, Pennsylvania. Stephens later posted a video of the shooting on Facebook.

And nine schools were locked down Monday in Philadelphia, a more than six-hour drive from Cleveland, as police investigated possible sightings of Stephens.

Stephens' vehicle sustained minor damage after a trooper couldn't stop in time and hit the auto, but no injuries to law enforcement were reported.

"He was definitely one in a million", said another daughter, Debbie Godwin.

"He is considered armed and risky, so we want people to be careful out there", Williams said.

Police said Sunday night Stephens may have left the state and warned residents of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan and NY to be on alert.

The woman Stephens spoke of, Joy Lane, said in a text message to CBS that "we had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened".

The video on Stephens' Facebook page showed a gun being pointed at an unidentified man's head.

Facebook has since announced it was launching a review for reporting harmful content.

Troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police responded to the tip and Stephens sped away, police said.

So authorities have embarked on the risky task of searching Cleveland's abandoned buildings while hoping a $50,000 reward will spur anyone with information about Stephens' location to come forward.