McDonald's staff helped police corner murderer Steve Stephens

Adam Boult
The McDonald's restaurant where a member of staff recognized the car of fugitive Steve Stephens - REUTERS

Two McDonald's employees in Erie, Pennsylvania, could be in line for a reward after helping police in their pursuit of Steve Stephens, who murdered a pensioner chosen at random on Easter Sunday, posting the footage of the killing on Facebook.

Stephens took his own life on Tuesday after a police chase, his death marking the end of a three-day, five-state manhunt.

It has emerged that the McDonald's workers played a crucial role in helping police track Stephens down.

Steve Stephens Credit: AFP/Getty Images

After the killer pulled into the drive-through restaurant to order chicken nuggets and fries, staff immediately recognised him - and stalled him by falsely informed him that he'd have an extended wait for his fries.

Stephens drove off without the fries but, according to TMZ, the McDonald's employees' ploy helped officers get on his tail. 

A short time after his stop-off police were giving chase - and before long Stephens was dead.

Robert Godwin, 74, was killed by Stephens in Cleveland. City mayor Frank Jackson said: "This particular incident received a lot of attention, and rightfully so - because it was the loss of an innocent.

"But ultimately I believe this has taught us that we cannot solve this gun violence unless we have the same compassion and sense of community that we have here."

Coroner Lyell P. Cook (R) examines Stephens' car Credit: REUTERS/Robert Frank

Calvin Williams, the chief of Cleveland police, said that shortly after 11am (4pm GMT) Pennsylvania state police officers received a tip that the white Ford Fusion Stephens was driving was at a McDonald's in Erie.

When the police arrived the car took off, and after a short chase Stephens took his own life.

"We did not want it to end this way. There are a lot of questions we had for Steve," said Mr Williams.

"We would have liked to have brought him in peacefully, talked to him about what happened.

"If there are people out there in a dark place, thinking they need help, we really need them to reach out and call. If you are feeling not quite right, if there are things you need assistance with, you need to reach out."

 

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