Steve Stephens has shot himself during a police chase in the city of Erie, Pennsylvania.
Stephens murdered a 74-year old stranger in Cleveland, Ohio on Easter Sunday following an argument with his girlfriend. He filmed the horrific encounter and uploaded it to his Facebook profile, where the video remained live for three hours. He’s been on the run ever since.
Stephens’ cellphone pinged in Pennsylvania yesterday allowing police to focus their search operations around the city of Erie. His white Ford Fusion was spotted in a McDonald’s parking lot earlier today.
Pennsylvania State Police approached the carpark and ended up in a car chase with Stephens. A few minutes later the alleged murderer shot and killed himself “as the vehicle was spinning out of control,” police said.
Stephens’ picture and personal details was widely circled yesterday with police offering $20,000 for information that led to his capture. At about 11 am this morning the police received a tip from an “alert citizen” that his car was parked outside a McDonald’s.
The police chased Stephens for approximately two-miles before one of their cars hit Stephens’ in the rear to make it lose control. As the car spun Stephens pulled out a pistol and shot himself in the head.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson immediately called a news conference where he said: “We have closure in regard to the search for Steve Stephens.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams had hoped to bring Stephens in alive, to try and find out what motivated the mental health worker to execute an elderly father of nine at random.
“We would like to have brought Steve in peacefully and really talk to him to find out exactly why this happened… find out why he did what he did and what drove him to this,” Williams said.
Facebook has launched a review of it’s procedures as the horrific video was allowed to be live on their site for over three hours.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the issue at the company’s annual conference in San Jose on Tuesday. “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Robert Godwin Snr.
“We have a lot of work to do and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening.”