Manhunt Expands To Midwest As Cleveland Facebook Killer Evades Police

Apr 17, 2017

manhunt is underway in Ohio and surrounding states for a man accused of posting a Facebook video as he gunned down an elderly man.


Police say the suspect, Steve Stephens, walked up to 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. and shot him yesterday afternoon. Stephens also claimed in the video to have killed more than a dozen other people, but Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams says that is unconfirmed.

Williams says authorities have already searched every location Stephens has been associated with in the Cleveland area.

“We’re in touch with a lot of Steve’s family members and friends, and they’re all trying to do the same thing: trying to get him to turn himself in.”

Williams confirmed detectives spoke with Stephens by cell phone "early in the investigation."

"They did of course try to convince him to turn himself in. ... Obviously he's got deep, deep issues and whether he was calm or not (as he recorded himself preparing to commit the killing), he committed a heinous crime in this city and we want to get him off the streets as soon as possible." 

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is urging Stephens to turn himself in, adding officials want to have a conversation with him about any problems he’s experiencing.

The FBI and other agencies are assisting in the investigation. They believe Stephens is driving a 2016 white Ford Fusion with a temporary license plate.

Williams says Stephens appears to have no criminal record. He also says the Godwin family has seen several GoFundMe campaigns set up in Robert Godwin's name, and people should not contribute to those at this time.

Debbie Godwin says her father was shot while he was picking up aluminum cans, and he "wasn't harming anyone." According to Debbie Godwin, Robert was retired and had 10 children. She says he spent the day before the shooting doing one of the things he loved most, fishing in Lake Erie.

Police have warned residents of Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be on the lookout for Stephens.

Nine Philadelphia schools were locked down Monday afternoon after calls came in saying that Stephens could be in or near Fairmount Park, a large green expanse northwest of downtown. The nearby schools were locked down as a precaution, but police later said "there is no indication that the subject is at that location, or anywhere in the city of Philadelphia."