Manhunt expanded for suspect in Facebook video killing

CLEVELAND — Authorities in a number of states have been looking out Monday for a person police say shot a Cleveland retiree accumulating aluminum cans after which posted video of the apparently random killing on Fb.

“He might be close by. He could possibly be distant or anyplace in between,” FBI agent Stephen Anthony stated on Day 2 of the manhunt for Steve Stephens, a 37-yr-previous job counselor for teenagers and younger adults.

Police stated Stephens killed Robert Godwin Sr., a seventy four-yr-previous former foundry employee, on Sunday.

Investigators stated that Godwin was the one sufferer thus far linked to Stephens, regardless of the suspect’s declare in a separate video on Fb that he killed over a dozen individuals.

Officers searched dozens of locations across the metropolis and spoke with the suspect by cellphone, police stated.

Police Chief Calvin Williams warned residents to watch out because the go about their day.

Authorities additionally warned individuals in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be alert for Stephens, who was needed on a cost of aggravated homicide.

Godwin apparently was shot whereas out choosing up cans in a plastic purchasing bag, his daughter stated.

“Not as a result of he wanted the cash, it was simply one thing he did,” stated fifty two-yr-previous Debbie Godwin. “That’s all he was doing. He wasn’t harming anybody.”

She stated her father, who had 10 youngsters, was a mild man with nothing imply about him.

“We referred to as him the junk man,” she stated. “He’d decide up issues off the road and repair them. He picked up bikes and he fastened them.”

The motive for the capturing wasn’t completely clear from the shaky video, through which Stephens advised Godwin a lady’s identify and stated, “She’s the rationale that that is about to occur to you.” Godwin didn’t appear to acknowledge the lady’s identify.

The suspect then pointed a gun at Godwin, who shielded his face with the plastic bag.

Fb stated the video was posted after the killing however wasn’t broadcast on Fb Stay as police initially indicated. The suspect did go stay on the social media website at one other level Sunday.

The video of the killing was on Fb for about three hours earlier than it was taken down. Stephens’ Fb web page additionally was ultimately eliminated.

“This can be a horrific crime and we don’t permit this type of content material on Fb,” the corporate stated. “We work exhausting to maintain a protected setting on Fb, and are in contact with regulation enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to bodily security.”


Within the separate video, Stephens stated: “I killed thirteen, so I’m engaged on 14 as we converse.”

Police stated they haven’t verified some other shootings or deaths.

Stephens labored at Beech Brook, a behavioral well being company headquartered in Pepper Pike, close to Cleveland. He helped younger individuals develop job expertise and discover employment, stated Beech Brook spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer.

An in depth background examine earlier than he was employed turned up nothing worrisome, she stated.


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