Steve Stephens: Manhunt for Cleveland Facebook shooter expands to five surrounding states

Mythili Sampathkumar

Police hunting a man who filmed himself walking up to and shooting dead an elderly man on a Cleveland street have expanded the search to five surrounding states.

Detectives have said they “will find” the Facebook murder suspect but asked the public for help because he “could be a lot of places” in the region.

Steve Stephens, 37, killed Robert Godwin Senior, 74, on a Facebook video and is still on the loose.

Local police, in conjunction with the FBI and US Marshals Service, have expanded the manhunt beyond Ohio to include Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, and Indiana for the man they said should be considered armed and dangerous.

The search radius was expanded because Mr Stephens’ cellphone signal pinged in Erie, Pennsylvania, approximately 100 miles east of Cleveland, said Calvin Williams, chief of police in Cleveland, during a news conference.

Mr Stephens was driving in Cleveland and pulled over to confront Mr Godwin as he was walking down the street according to the mobile video shot by Mr Stephens himself. He appeared to have shot Mr Godwin in the head without provocation.

He mentioned a woman’s name to Mr Godwin and said she was the reason he was about to kill him. The elderly man did not appear to recognise the woman’s name.

Mr Stephens did not commit the murder on a live feed but posted the video later to his page. In the video, he also said that he had already killed several people and was looking for more victims.

Mr Williams confirmed that no family or friends of Mr Stephens were obstructing the investigation but emphasised to the public that assisting Mr Stephens is a felony crime.

He said Mr Stephens has several traffic violations, but no previous criminal record. Law enforcement officials have also not found any of the other victims Mr Stephens alleged to have killed.

Mr Stephens has “deep, deep issues”, Mr Williams said.

Mr Stephens worked for Beach Brook, a behavioural health agency that helped children through mental health services, adoption, and foster care assistance.

Police confirmed the office was closed today to keep colleagues and children safe.

The woman mentioned in the video is also in “a safe place” according to Mr Williams should Mr Stephens want to come after her as well.

“The only way to help is to give us information to bring him in peacefully, safely,” said Mr Williams.

He once again addressed Mr Stephens directly as well, asking to turn himself in to authorities.

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