Ohio cops hunt for man who broadcast fatal shooting on Facebook – New York Daily News
With a phone in one hand and a gun in the other, a psycho approached a random elderly man in Cleveland and shot him dead, filming the callous killing he then posted on Facebook.
Police said Steve Stephens shot 74-year-old Robert Godwin in the city’s Glenville neighborhood at 2 p.m. — uploading the video with the title “Easter day slaughter.”
He said in subsequent videos that the sick killing was an act of revenge directed at his girlfriend, Joy Lane.
Filmed from the shooter’s perspective and allegedly posted to Facebook by Stephens, 37, under his account “Stevie Steve,” the footage shows the gunman walking up to Godwin and asking, “Can you say ‘Joy Lane?’ ”
“Joy Lane,” Godwin replies.
“She’s the reason why all of this is about to happen to you,” the shooter says.
The gunman then asks, “How old are you?” before firing once, striking the helpless man in the head as he tries to protect himself with a white plastic shopping bag.
The shooter walks away from the bloody body, gets into a vehicle and leaves.
The video was removed from Facebook after three hours, and Stephens’ Facebook page was also deactivated — but not before videos he filmed of himself blaming others for the bloodshed began circulating online.
“I shamed myself. I snapped dog, I just snapped … I killed 13 mother f–kers man. I’m going to keep killing until they catch me, f— it,” he said.
Police, on an urgent manhunt to find Stephens, were searching vacant homes in the area for any additional victims, according to Cleveland.com. They had yet to find additional victims.
Authorities said Stephens is bald, 6-foot-1, 244 pounds, sporting a full beard and wearing a dark striped polo shirt.
He was last seen in a white Ford Fusion. Police said residents of Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan should be on alert for the fugitive killer.
He whined in videos about his girlfriend.
“The love of my life … We’ve been together three years. We were supposed to get married,” he said.
“She’s the reason why what’s happened today.”
Stephens alluded to developing a gambling problem during the strained relationship and “losing everything.”
Lane could not be reached. Cleveland.com reported she was in protective custody and cooperating with police.
In a text to CBS News, she said she prayed for the victim.
“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,” she wrote.
The mother of Stephens, Maggie Green, told CNN that he told her he was killing people because he was “mad with his girlfriend.” She had urged him to stop shooting people, she said.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson pleaded with Stephens to turn himself in.
“Whatever concerns or problems that he’s having, we’re here to have a conversation with him,” Jackson said.
Police Chief Calvin Williams called the shooting “senseless.”
“If Steve has an issue, then he needs to talk to some folks to get that resolved,” Williams said, suggesting the wanted man contact local clergy and avoid more bloodshed.
He cautioned that Stephens, wanted for a charge of aggravated murder, was armed and dangerous.
On Facebook, he said he was a caseworker for the behavioral health agency Beech Brook, even flashing the ID card he wore around his neck during the shooting.
On Twitter, a post from Stephen’s family said they had disowned him.
“We absolutely do not condone this type of behavior and this atrocity, therefore we do not consider Steve a part of this family,” the family said.
Robert Godwin Jr. told local news station WOIO he was devastated by the murder of his dad.
“He was a good guy. He would give you the shirt off his back,” he said. “I’m not just saying that for these cameras. . . . This man, right here, was a good man and I hate that he’s gone.”
Another relative of Godwin — a father of nine — could only repeat, “It feels like my heart is going to stop.”
Facebook, which faced criticism for not removing the gruesome video faster, condemned the shooting.
“This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook,” a spokesman said.
“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.”
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