HORRIFIC: Manhunt is On After Killer Broadcasts Easter Sunday Murder Over Facebook Live
Easter Sunday in Cleveland turned into a deadly nightmare as police launched a desperate manhunt for a suspect who used Facebook Live to broadcast the commission of a murder.
The FBI and county sheriffs are running double and triple patrols in the search for Steve Stephens after issuing a warning to residents, including students at nearby Cleveland State University, to be “vigilant” and a plea to the suspect to surrender.
“We want this to end with as much peace as we can bring right now,” said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, adding that friends and family of the suspect are assisting and attempting to convince Stephens to turn himself in.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson held a press conference where he joined in the pleas.
“Steve Stephens, we want to communicate to you. We’re staying to him, he need not do anymore harm to anybody, any innocent people.”
The horror began around 2 p.m. when Stephens was posting his complaints about his girlfriend live on Facebook as he drove near the campus.
At some point, he says, “Found me somebody I’m going to kill, this guy right here, this old dude,” gets out of his car and approaches his elderly victim apparently at random.
The streaming continued as Stephens demanded that 74-year-old Robert Goodwin Sr. say the name of his girlfriend, thought to be Joy Lane, and explains, “She’s the reason, uh, this is about to happen to you,” and fires a single bullet into the victim’s head as Goodwin tries to raise his hands in self-defense.
Police do not believe Stephens knew the victim.
The Facebook post remained up for three hours before it was taken down.
Police are trying to confirm Stephens’ claim, also broadcast on Facebook in a separate video, that he has killed 13 others, as he promised to continue, “to keep killing until they catch me.”
Even as Stephens’ family tries to reason with him, urging the killer to surrender, the victim’s son told local news, “I’m not just saying it for these cameras like people do knowing their people ain’t right. I’m telling the truth. This man right here was a good man…I don’t know what I’m going to do. It’s not real.”
Stephens, who works at a mental health facility in Cleveland, is an African-American, 6’1” tall weighing approximately 245 pounds, bald with a full beard.
He is driving a white Ford Fusion with temporary license tags.
Police confirmed the search has expanded to Michigan and Indiana, and say Stephens should be considered armed and dangerous.