Steve Stephens, the suspect who posted video of a brutal killing on Facebook, fatally shot himself Tuesday in Pennsylvania, state police said.
“Steve Stephens was spotted this morning by PSP members in Erie County,” Pennsylvania State Police tweeted. “After a brief pursuit, Stephens shot and killed himself.”
Steve Stephens was spotted this morning by PSP members in Erie County. After a brief pursuit, Stephens shot and killed himself.
— PA State Police (@PAStatePolice) April 18, 2017
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Cleveland’s police chief said earlier Tuesday authorities had received more than 400 tips as they hunted for Stephens.
“This is a nationwide search, and we are getting calls from all over the country, as far away as Texas,” Police Chief Calvin Williams said at a morning press conference.
Stephens, 37, had been charged with aggravated murder in the shooting death of Robert Godwin on Sunday.
“If you think you see Steve out there or if you think you spotted his vehicle, we want you to call 911 right away,” Williams said hours before the manhunt had concluded.
Godwin’s family said Monday they forgave the alleged gunman.
“Each one of us forgives the killer, the murderer,” Tonya Godwin-Baines, a daughter of the 74-year-old victim, told Cleveland TV station WJW on Monday. “We want to wrap our arms around him.”
Cleveland police said Stephens posted horrifying video of the apparently random killing of the father of 10 and grandfather of 14. It was later removed.
A son, Robert Godwin Jr., said: “Steve, I forgive you … I’m not happy (with) what you did but I forgive you.”
The family pleaded with Stephens to turn himself in. “To the young man who murdered my daddy,” Godwin-Baines told the TV station, “I ask that you please surrender. I forgive you and love you, but most importantly, God loves you. God can heal your mind and save your soul.”
SMH.. We are supposed to forgive, but this quick forgiveness many families of murder victims display to complete strangers is either A, or real or B. They really didn’t care about the victim in the first place. It’s simply not natural to forgive so quickly.. How about grieving and burying the man first?? I don’t care what anyone says. They disgust me.
Now watch what his girlfriend had to say about Steve killing her boyfriend, then killing himself.
— Chris Reymann (@reymannchristop) April 18, 2017
Accused Facebook killer Steve Stephens faced multiple evictions, financial trouble
Accused Facebook killer Steve Stephens faced numerous evictions in Ohio and bankruptcy prior to allegedly filming the murder of an elderly man and posting the video onto the social media website.
Stephens was recently evicted from an apartment in Euclid and faced another eviction at a separate apartment in Warrensville Heights five months prior, according to court records obtained by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer on Monday. The documents shed light on Stephens’ massive financial troubles.
According to the records, the Warrensville Heights complex successfully sued Stephens for $1,800 in back rent and started to garnish his wages last month. Stephens also was saddled with a ton of debt, the paper reported. He declared more than $35,000 in debts, including $21,000 owed on a loan for a 2007 Dodge Charger and more than $5,300 on student loans. He was sued in Euclid Municipal Court in 2012.
Stephens said in a court filing that he owned about $1,500 in household possessions and had more than $350 in his bank account. The Plain-Dealer reported he was discharged from bankruptcy in August 2015.
In another Facebook posting Sunday, Stephens said he gambled his money away at Jack Cleveland Casino and said he “lost everything” and that he was “out of options.”
Cleveland Facebook Killer Steve Stephens Tortured Pets as a Teen, Neighbor Says
“He asked me to come in and see his pet bird, so I went in their house. He had a parakeet and he had that bird crawl from the cage and on to his finger. Then he slapped the bird as hard as he could with his other hand, and the bird was lying on the floor. The bird looked dead to me. I looked at him and he was smiling and laughing as he looked at me and that bird.”
“Hey, animals don’t make you weird like that,” Henderson, 55 said. “He was that way before he got that bird. Heard he used to torture other pets he had. He was like that from the time I first met him.”
Story developing… Check back for more details…