Facebook video murder suspect kills himself in Pennsylvania
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 19, 2017,
Apr 19, 2017, 0:02
Troopers acting on a tip spotted Steve Stephens' vehicle Tuesday near Erie, in Pennsylvania's northwest corner. That launched a 2-mile (3-kilometer) auto chase that ended when troopers tried to spin his vehicle to get him to stop.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf tweeted a thank you to the state police "for their vigilance in pursuing the Facebook killer".
Stephens posted a video of himself killing Robert Godwin Sr., a former foundry worker who had 10 children, police said. She said Stephens was "a nice guy" who was generous to everyone.
Stephens's vehicle does not have a Global Positioning System or any other locator device, he said, and the roughly 400 tips from the public have included scattered, supposed sightings as far away as Texas.
Calvin Williams, the chief of Cleveland police, said that shortly after 11am (4pm GMT) Pennsylvania state police officers received a tip that the white Ford Fusion Stephens was driving was at a McDonald's in Erie. But as the manhunt dragged on today for the man accused of posting Facebook footage of himself killing a retiree, police were unable to explain what set him off.
The police chief said that it wasn't clear whether Stephens had any help while he was on the run or where he had been and that investigators will try to retrace his steps.
As The Two-Way reported, police said that Stephens "claimed to have committed multiple other homicides, which are still not verified".
The chase lasted two miles before Stephens took his own life, police said.
It marked a violent end to the almost 48-hour multistate manhunt for Steve Stephens, whose case brought another round of criticism down on Facebook over how responsibly it polices objectionable material posted by users. Authorities say police tried to pull Stephens over and, after a brief pursuit, he shot and killed himself.
He posted video of that shooting on Facebook. Authorities have announced a $50,000 reward for information on the man that can lead to his arrest.
Police received more than 400 tips in the search, which expanded to all states neighboring OH and into New England. Police in Philadelphia said eight elementary schools and a high school were locked down Monday while they investigated reported sightings but found nothing.
"We're telling people the only assistance in this case is to call us".
Steve Stephens is a 37-year-old man from Cleveland, Ohio who got very popular on social media, but for all the wrong reasons.
(Facebook via AP). This Sunday, April 16, 2017 frame from video posted on Facebook shows Robert Godwin Sr.in Cleveland moments before being fatally shot.
As a result of this awful series of events, we are reviewing our reporting flows to be sure people can report videos and other material that violates our standards as easily and quickly as possible. A few minutes after that, he went live and confessed, the company said.