Cleveland police widen manhunt for Facebook murder suspect
Apr 19 2017
Mourners gathered Monday evening to remember Robert Godwin Sr., who was shot and killed Sunday on Facebook Live in Cleveland.
"I don't really want to see it", he said. "She's the reason this is about to happen to you".
Police said they had received "dozens and dozens" of tips about the possible location of the suspect, Steve Stephens, and tried to convince him to turn himself in when they spoke with him on his mobile phone on Sunday after the shooting. The interaction lasted less than a minute.
The break in the case came when police received a tip that Stephens' auto was in the McDonald's parking lot in Erie, in the northwestern corner of the state, about 100 miles east of Cleveland, authorities said.
Police are still on the hunt for a Cleveland man who murdered a civilian, took a video of the account, and published said footage on Facebook.
"They don't make men like him anymore", said another daughter, Debbie Godwin.
They say Stephens may have left OH, and they're urging people in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and MI to be on the lookout.
WEWS-TV reports that a video Stephens posted to Facebook a year ago showed him rapidly firing at targets at the range in Willoughby and being warned to stop by an employee.
Many shared images of Godwin smiling and having a good time.
Facebook's live-streaming feature allows anyone to broadcast online in real time.
Some local media reported that he had boasted on Facebook of killing more than a dozen people in an Easter Day massacre, but authorities said there was no indication of a broader killing spree.
In the minute-long shooting video, a driver pulls up to an older man on a sidewalk. They have since pleaded not guilty.
In January, three men in Sweden were arrested on suspicion of raping a woman and streaming the assault live to a private Facebook group.
Godwin, 74, was shot Sunday while walking home from an Easter meal with his children in Cleveland. He was last seen wearing a dark blue and gray or black striped polo shirt.
"Our reach now is basically all over this country", Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams said at a news conference.
Godwin taught his children the value of hard work, how to love God and how to forgive, his children said. "I encourage you to give them a call and then call us and turn yourself in".
The shooting video was not reported by Facebook users until 3.59pm EDT and Stephens' account was disabled at 4.22pm EDT, Facebook's timeline showed. He also said there would be more murders.
He posted video of that shooting on Facebook.
Stephens was employed at Beech Brook, a behavioral health agency in northeastern OH that serves children, teenagers and families, according to a spokeswoman for the facility.
Meanwhile, police in Cleveland have no idea where the suspect is.
He helped them gain job skills and find employment, said Beech Brook spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer. We were notified that it was on Facebook, and we are waiting along with everyone else to hear if he has been abducted. Police said he might be driving a white or cream-coloured Ford Fusion, and asked anyone who spots him or his vehicle to call police or a special Federal Bureau of Investigation hotline (800-CALLFBI).