Steve Stephens was driving down a road in Ohio on Sunday when he selected a 74-year old man at random. He jumped out of his car and shot the stranger in the head while broadcasting the brutal and unprovoked attack on Facebook Live.
The horrendous footage stayed live on Facebook for three hours before being deleting. Stephens uploaded a second video a few hours later claiming he’d killed more than a dozen others. Police in Cleveland are yet to link Stephens with any other victims.
Stephens whereabouts is still unknown and police fear he could have left Ohio during the night. A massive five-state search radius has been set up to track down the alleged murderer.
Residents of Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan have been warned that Stephens could have made his way into their state – and that he’s armed and extremely dangerous.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams told reporters, “We need to bring this to a conclusion — today.” Adding that there’s “No need for further bloodshed in this incident tonight.”
Authorities have released a picture of Stephens and have described him as a black male who is six-feet one-inch and weighs roughly 244 pounds. He has a full beard. It’s believed that he’s in a white Ford Fusion.
Stephens’ mother Maggie Green said she spoke to her estranged son after the brutal incident, and that he claimed he shot was “shooting people” because he was “mad at his girlfriend.” He also told his mother, “If you see me again, it will be a miracle.”
Stephens’ girlfriend is fully cooperating with law enforcement officials, and has been taken into protective custody.
Facebook has released a statement claiming the video wasn’t broadcast on their Facebook Live product, but a prerecorded video that was uploaded to Stephens’ profile.
“We do not allow this kind of content on Facebook. 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,” the statement said.
Cleveland Police have identified the 74-year old victim as Robert Godwin, he was a father of nine. He was killed as he collected aluminium cans on a street by his house, one of his sons said. Robert Godwin was described as a kind, caring father who “would give you the shirt off his back.”
His daughter, Malisa Godwin, told reporters it “feels like my heart is going to stop.”
Stephens committed the attack at approximately 2pm yesterday (17/04/2017) in Ohio, and has not been seen since. He was driving a white Ford Fusion at the time, and it’s thought he could have left the state of Ohio yesterday evening. His plat at the time was E363630, but police believe he may have switched to a fake one.
Police have asked anyone who sees Stephens to dial 911 and not to approach him.