Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Police said Steve Stephens killed Robert Godwin Sr., a 74-year-old former foundry worker, on Sunday.
Investigators said that Mr Godwin was the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite the suspect's claim in a separate video on Facebook that he's killed over a dozen people.
Officers searched dozens of places around the city and spoke with the suspect by cellphone, police said.
Police Chief Calvin Williams warned residents to be careful as the go about their day.
Authorities also warned people in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be alert for Stephens, who was wanted on a charge of aggravated murder.
"We're going to make this individual's world very, very small," said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott.
Mr. Godwin apparently was shot while out picking up cans in a plastic shopping bag, his daughter said.
"Not because he needed the money, it was just something he did," said 52-year-old Debbie Godwin. "That's all he was doing. He wasn't harming anyone."
She said her father, who had 10 children, was a gentle man with nothing mean about him. "We called him the junk man," she said. "He'd pick up things off the street and fix them. He picked up bikes and he fixed them."
The motive for the shooting wasn't entirely clear from the shaky video, in which Steve Stephens told Godwin a woman's name and said, "She's the reason that this is about to happen to you." Godwin did not seem to recognize the woman's name.
The suspect then pointed a gun at Godwin, who shielded his face with the plastic bag.
The woman Stephens mentioned, Joy Lane, said in a text to CBS that "We had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened."
She also said Stephens was "a nice guy" who was generous to everyone and was "kind and loving" to her and her children.
Facebook said the video was posted after the killing but wasn't broadcast on Facebook Live as police initially indicated.
The suspect did go live on the social media site at another point Sunday.
The video of the killing was on Facebook for about three hours before it was taken down. Stephens' Facebook page also was eventually removed.
"This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook," the company said.
"We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety."
In the separate video, Stephens said: "I killed 13, so I'm working on 14 as we speak."
Police said they have not verified any other shootings or deaths.
Steve " Stevie Steve Stephens worked at Beech Brook, a behavioral health agency headquartered in Pepper Pike, near Cleveland.
He helped young people develop job skills and find employment, said Beech Brook spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer.
An extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome, she said.
"We just hope Mr. Stephens is apprehended as quickly as possible so that no one else is injured," she said.
In one of the videos, Stephens could be seen holding up his employee identification and said: "I'm killing with my Beech Brook badge on, too."
If you know me personally , you know that I'm a regular fixture o Facebook and Twitter....I have yet to use the new Facebook Live feature and the stuff that my friends put on Facebook live is mostly mundane...Live streaming driving somewhere, sitting around the table eating, out at the mall...et al..Stuff that is boring when being written about, let alone watching somebody do that!
This guy obviously wanted attention and he got it...He live streamed an actual murder...He took narcisscism up a notch...People have live streamed fights and I'm certain, sexual intercourse isn't far behind, if that hasn't bee done already...
Yesterday, nobody outside of Cleveland and the majority of people IN CLEVELAND, didn't know who Steve "Stevie Steve" Stephens was...Today he is known Nationwide...The subject of a Nationwide manhunt...
Now he has his 15 minutes of fame...Now he's known...Now he's somebody....
What is really sickening is the people sharing his video and veiwing it on Facebook...What does that say about us as a society?/ We are giving him what he wants...
Stevie Steve doesn't deserve to be heralded..He didn't do a good thing...What he did was horrific and evil and I don't care WHY he did it...He deserves the same punishment he gave his victim..to meet a violent end ,streamed live on Social Media..
I know, that's a bit extreme....It just angers me when I think of all these attention seekers out here who film themselves doing horrific things, who film people fighting, but don't bother to break up the fight..Who even stand by , while one of their friends punches somebody...usually an old person or a young person by themselves...all for "Likes" on Facebook or Facebook fame!
It disgusts me...
It is said that in the last days...Men will become lovers of themselves...
Those days are here, now!