Steve Stephens, Facebook Slaying Suspect, Dead, Police Say

Tuesday, April 18th 2017, 12:05 pm
By: News 9

The man suspected of killing of an elderly man and posting the gruesome video to Facebook shot and killed himself Tuesday in Erie County, Pa., police say.

Steve Stephens, 37, was wanted in the Sunday killing of Robert Godwin, Sr. in Cleveland and was the subject of a national manhunt.

He was spotted Tuesday morning in the state’s northwest corner, according to Pennsylvania State Police. Police tried to pull Stephens over and, after a brief pursuit, he shot and killed himself, state police say.

A law enforcement source told CBS News investigative producer Pat Milton on Monday that investigators picked up a “ping” from Stephens’ cellphone at about 7 p.m. Sunday night in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles northeast of Cleveland. But since then, investigators had been unable to detect a signal, the source said.

Investigators had asked residents of five states to be on alert and broadcast Stephens’ image on electronic billboards.

During the pursuit, the car was described as a white Ford Fusion, reports Police in Cleveland earlier said Stephens was driving the same model of car. Spike strips were used in the chase, the station reports.

Stephens was later found dead inside the car.

In the Facebook video, which appeared shaky, Stephens got out of his car and randomly targeted Godwin, who was holding a shopping bag. Stephens said the name of a woman, whom Godwin didn’t seem to recognize.

“She’s the reason that this is about to happen to you,” Stephens told Godwin before pointing a gun at him. Godwin can be seen shielding his face with the shopping bag.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams told reporters on Monday the woman is safe. Joy Lane, Stephens’ longtime partner, broke her silence about the shooting in a text message to CBS News.

“We had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened. My heart & prayers goes out to the family members of the victim(s). Steve really is a nice guy... he is generous with everyone he knows. He was kind and loving to me and my children. This is a very difficult time for me and my family Please respect our privacy at this time.”

Also in the video, Stephens can be heard saying: “I snapped, I just snapped.”

In a separate video, Stephens claimed to have killed more than a dozen other people. Williams said police have not verified any other shootings or deaths.

This is a developing story.

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