Suspect in Facebook video murder dead

Danny Woods
April 21, 2017

Stephens posted a video of the murder on Facebook, prompting a 48-hour manhunt that ended Tuesday in Erie, Pennsylvania when Stephens shot and killed himself while being pursued by state police.

A McDonald's employee recognized him and told Stephens the fries were not ready in order to stall for time as another employee called 911.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said police received a tip around 11am (local time) that Stephens' Ford Fusion was in a McDonald's parking lot in Erie County.

"A traffic stop was attempted, there was a brief pursuit, at which time Stephens shot and killed himself", Pennsylvania State Police communications director Ryan Tarkowski said.

Police picked up the trail in a chase that lasted 2 miles before Stephens took his own life, authorities said.

And so, she said, "each one of us forgives the killer, the murderer".

Steve Stephens, 37, was accused of fatally shooting Robert Godwin Sr in Cleveland, Ohio as the 74-year-old grandfather was walking home from dinner on Easter Sunday. She said the chase slowed suddenly from 50 miles per hour to about 20 miles per hour when the road narrowed from four lanes to two.

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In a second video, Stephens was seen on his cellphone, telling someone to go online to watch the footage. To stall him, employees allegedly told him the fries weren't ready yet.

But according to a timeline of events pieced together by police and Facebook, Stephens posted a video on Sunday afternoon saying he meant to kill, and followed up two minutes later with video of Godwin's shooting.

Wheeler said she followed the chase and saw a trooper clip Stephens' rear bumper.

The officer closest to the vehicle "just shook his head", she said.

The daughter of a retiree slain in an apparently random Cleveland shooting that was recorded and shared on Facebook says she's sad that the suspect killed himself in Pennsylvania. "They had their guns out but when he shook his head, they lowered their guns". Godwin did not seem to recognize the name. A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his capture and prosecution.

"We've interviewed several people involved in this, and I don't think there's any rhyme or reason for what happened", Williams told reporters Monday.

Stephens also claimed he had killed more people, but Cleveland Police say they have no known additional victims linked to him. Detectives spoke with the suspect on Sunday by cellphone and tried to persuade him to surrender, police said.

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