Home Tags Posts tagged with "robert godwin"

robert godwin

Steve Stephens, who was suspected of randomly shooting a grandfather on an Ohio street and posting video of the killing to Facebook, has taken his own life, police say.

The 37-year-old man was spotted on April 18 in Erie County, Pennsylvania State Police tweeted.

“After a brief pursuit, Stephens shot and killed himself,” police tweeted.

Steve Stephens allegedly shot dead 74-year-old Robert Godwin as the victim walked home from Easter lunch on April 16 in Cleveland.

The suspect’s mobile phone signal was last tracked on Sunday afternoon to Erie, Pennsylvania, 100 miles from where police say he shot Robert Godwin.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson told a news conference: “We have closure in regards to the search for Steve Stephens.”

City police chief Calvin Williams told reporters that Pennsylvania State Police received a tip-off shortly after 11:00 on April 18.

Image source Facebook

Steve Stephens’ white Ford Fusion car had been spotted in the car park of a McDonald’s in the city of Erie, he said.

Calvin Williams said there was a brief police chase after which the suspect’s car stopped.

Steve Stephens took his own life with his gun as officers approached his vehicle, and was pronounced dead at the scene, added the police chief.

Calvin Williams said: “We would like to have brought Steve in peacefully and really talk to him to find out exactly why this happened… find out why he did what he did and what drove him to this.”

Steve Stephens had been added to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List as the manhunt was extended from five states to nationwide.

Earlier in the day, police said that authorities had received more than 400 tips, including as far away as Texas.

The family of Robert Godwin – a father of 10 and grandfather of 14 – said on April 17 they forgave the suspected killer.

His daughter, Tonya Godwin-Baines, had urged Steve Stephens to surrender.

“Each one of us forgives the killer, the murderer,” she told Cleveland TV station WJW.

“We want to wrap our arms around him.”

“I forgive you and love you, but most importantly, God loves you. God can heal your mind and save your soul,” she said.

The victim’s son, Robert Godwin Jr., said: “Steve, I forgive you… I’m not happy what you did, but I forgive you.”

Cleveland officials had announced a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

Facebook has launched a review of its procedures after criticism that the footage stayed on the site for hours.

Facebook’s vice-president of global operations, Justin Osofsky, said the first complaint made about the video showing the killing came nearly two hours after it was posted.

However, Justin Osofsky added: “We know we need to do better.”


Cleveland police are searching for a suspect who fatally shot a “random” victim and posted the footage on Facebook.

Steve Stephens, 37, later said in a separate video post that he had killed 13 people and was looking to kill more.

Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams confirmed one killing but said they did not know of any other victims.

Calvin Williams said that “multiple forces” were looking for Steve Stephens, who “needs to turn himself in”.

The victim has been identified by Cleveland police as Robert Godwin, 74.

At a news conference on April 16, police chief Calvin Williams said: “There is no need for any further bloodshed in this incident tonight.

“We need to bring this to a conclusion today.”

He added: “We need to get Steve from the streets.”

He said that authorities had put out alerts “in the state of Ohio and beyond” over the “senseless” incident, and urged people not to approach the suspect, who he said was likely to remain armed and dangerous.

Image source Facebook

The Cleveland PD issued a photo of Steve Stephens on its website, describing him as a 6ft 1in (1.9m) tall black male of medium complexion.

Steve Stephens is thought to be driving a white or cream-colored SUV.

Calvin Williams said that the victim appeared to have been selected at random in what he described as a “senseless” murder.

He added that Steve Stephens “clearly has a problem” and urged him to come forward in order to “receive the help that he needs”.

The FBI is collaborating with local police as it investigates the incident, CNN reports.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said that he wanted Steve Stephens to know that “he will eventually be caught”.

A fundraising page set up to help the family of Robert Godwin had received more than half of its target of $20,000 within hours of publication.

Facebook said in a statement on April 16 that it co-operates fully with the authorities in incidents where there are “direct threats to physical safety”.

Responding to the reports involving Steve Stephens, Facebook said that it was “a horrific crime”, adding that it “does not allow this kind of content” on its site.

It is not the first time that a fatal shooting has been posted or streamed on Facebook.

In June 2016, a man was shot dead while live-streaming a video of himself on the streets of Chicago. In March, an unidentified man was shot 16 times while broadcasting live.

Facebook’s live-streaming feature, which was launched in 2010, allows anyone to broadcast online in real time.