FBI posts $50,000 reward in for info leading to arrest of Facebook gunman who went on a killing spree in Cleveland , OH, on Easter Sunday
The Steve Stephens is wanted on aggravated murder charges after he filmed himself randomly killing elderly man
37-year-old Stephens has been on the run since he fatally shot dead Robert Godwin, 74, on Sunday and posted a video of the shooting on Facebook
After ‘Multiple sightings’ of the fugitive shooter, authorities said they widened their search to five states
Stephens allegedly snapped after girlfriend, Joy Lane, broke up with him earlier in Sunday
However Stephens, a case manager at a behavioral health agency, blamed casinos and his lack of self control for the Easter Sunday killing spree in Cleveland
Cleveland police say Stephens his cell phone last pinged 100 miles east of the scene of the crime in Erie, Pennsylvania
Cops say they haven’t found more bodies to back Stephens’ claim on Facebook that he killed up to 15 people
Facebook Live killer Steve Stephens
Stephens has been on the run since Sunday after cops tried and failed to convince him to turn himself in for the shooting death of 74-year-old Robert Godwin. He posted the video of the mindless act on Facebook.
In the video, which has been removed from Facebook, the suspect identified as Stephens pulls up to an elderly man who is walking on the side of the road. He tells the man to say a woman’s name and pulls out his gun.
The elderly man repeatedly remonstrates with the suspect he doesn’t know the woman, believed to be shooter’s estranged girlfriend, still he pulls the trigger, shooting the man in the head, leaving him in a heap in the street. He walks away and says the elderly man is dead because of the woman.
Authorities identified the shooter as Steve Stephens, a 6-foot, 1-inch tall African American male with a full beard. Weighing 244 lbs, Stephens was last seen wearing a dark blue and gray or black striped polo shirt.
Cleveland police say Stephens is driving in a White Ford Fusion [photo] and his cellphone last pinged in Erie, Pennsylvania
Earlier in the day, cops in Cleveland announced that they had widened their search for Stephens to Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan. By midday Monday, police in Philadelphia investigated multiple calls about a possible sighting of Stephens in a city park, which turned out to be a false alarm. Meanwhile investigators tracking the fugitive, said his cell phone pinged in Erie, Pennsylvania, 100 miles away from the scene of the crime.
Stephens shot 74-year-old Robert Godwin, without provocation, on Easter Sunday and posted the video on Facebook [photo]
Police Chief Calvin Williams said in a Monday morning press conference that his officers searched dozens of locations over the night ‘to no avail’. Steve Anthony, special agent in charge of Cleveland’s FBI office, said Stephens could be almost anywhere now.
He also issued a warning to anyone who may be harboring Stephens.
‘If you think you’re helping Steve, you’re really not. You’re going to get yourself in trouble along with him,’ Chief Williams said. The police chief added that they have not found more victims, despite the killer’s claim on Facebook that he killed up to 15 people.
Authorities released an update as Stephen’s ex-girlfriend, Joy Lane, apologized for the shooting.
Stephens says rejection by Joy Lane [photo, left] pushed him to random murder
Stephens says in the video claimed he was motivated to kill after breaking up with his girlfriend, identified as Lane, earlier in the day.
He wrote that he ‘messed up’ in postings on social media and said he would only stop killing if his girlfriend or his mother called him. Stephens said he two dated the Air Force veteran for three years, and he wishes he’d never met her.
Lane who is in protective custody extended her condolence to the victim’s family.
In a text message to CBS, she said: ‘We had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened.
Cleveland police say Stephens is driving in a White Ford Fusion (above) and that his cellphone last pinged 100 miles away from the scene of the crime, in Erie, Pennsylvania
‘My heart and prayers goes out to the family members of the victim(s).
‘Steve really is a nice guy. He is generous with everyone he knows. He was kind and loving to me and my children.
‘This is a very difficult time for me and my family Please respect our privacy at this time,’ Lane said
Steve Stephen’s mother Maggie Green said her son had called by her house on Saturday afternoon and told her, ‘If you see me again, it’ll be a miracle’.
‘He said this is the last time I was going to see him,’ she told CNN.
Green, 53, learned about the shooting when her youngest son told her about the video. She said she was “just dumbfounded” and called Stephens. He told her he was “shooting people” because he was “mad with his girlfriend” of about three years, she said, explaining it was a brief phone call because her phone died.
Wanted person flyer issued by police Monday, as authorities asked residents in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be on the lookout for the imploding fugitive killer
Facebook said the suspect did go live on the social media website at one point during the day, but not during the killing. The shooting video was posted around 2pm ET. Police earlier had said that Stephens had broadcast it on Facebook Live.
The video of the killing was on Facebook for about three hours before it was removed. Stephens’ Facebook page also was eventually removed.
‘This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook,’ said a company spokesperson. ‘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 face of a killer.Stephens is six-feet tall and around 240 pounds. He is bald with a full beard and was last known to be wearing a dark blue and gray or black-striped polo shirt. Feds have stretched their search for Stephens , stretching from Ohio to four other states.
According to the victim’s son, Robert Godwin Jr., his father, a retired foundry worker, collected aluminum cans and often walked with a plastic shopping bag, picking cans up if he saw them on ground. The son said he believed his father was looking for cans on Sunday when Stephens approached him.
The victim’s family also warned that several Go Fund Me accounts had been set up in Godwin’s name, but that none was legitimate. They plan to release a statement later Monday for people looking to donate in his memory.
Many excuses: Stephens who said in the video that we went on the rampage after his girlfriend [photo], broke up with him earlier in the day. Has also blamed casinos and his own weakness among several factors for going out and shooting a septuagenarian at random
‘Like I said, I killed 13, so I’m working on 14 as we speak,’ he said.
Police have not verified any other shootings or deaths, Police Chief Calvin Williams said.
‘There are no more victims that we know are tied to him,’ he said.
Police said they have been talking with family and friends of Stephens, who is a case manager at Beech Brook, a behavioral health agency headquartered in Pepper Pike, near Cleveland.
In another video posted to his Facebook, Stephens blames his workplace for driving him to kill people.
‘For 165 years, Beech Brook has been serving Northeast Ohio’s most vulnerable children. Today as a leading behavioral health agency, Beech Brook will serve more than 18,000 children and families this year,’ the company’s website says.
Victim Robert Godwin’s (photo) family say the retired foundry worker was out collecting cans when he was shot dead on Sunday
‘I’m killing with my Beech Brook badge on too,’ he says.’Beech Brook touches the lives of children, teens and families through an array of services ranging from prevention, education and early intervention to community-based programming to strengthen and support youth and families.’
‘We were shocked and horrified to learn of this news today,’ agency spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer said in a statement. ‘We are hoping that the Cleveland Police will be able to apprehend Mr. Stephens as soon as possible and before anyone else is injured.’
Shooting suspect Stephens [photo], is a case manager at a behavioral health agency called Beech Brook
Earlier Stephens had shifted the blame for his woes on the casinos. He said that the casinos and his lack of self-control caused him to ‘lose everything’, and according to court records, he filed for bankruptcy.
Other videos on his social media profile show him at a gun range.
Stephens also mentioned his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, in one of his Facebook posts. The fraternity issued a statement Sunday night.
‘On behalf of the Supreme Council and the members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, we lift our sincere and heartfelt prayers and condolences of comfort to the families impacted by the recent shooting in Cleveland, Ohio,’ it said.
The Jack Casino [photo], in Cleveland is yet another reason mentioned by Stephen for turning to murder
Earlier on Sunday, Stephens blamed casinos and his lack of self control for the ‘Easter Sunday massacre’ in Cleveland. He specifically names the Jack Casino, in Cleveland
“We want this to end with as much peace as we can bring to this right now. If that doesn’t happen, we have all our partners in on this and will look until we find him.”