Cleveland Police Say They Spoke Early With Steve Stephens, Accused Cleveland Facebook Killer

Apr 17, 2017
Originally published on April 17, 2017 10:22 am

A 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.

“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, 

Williams says Godwin family has seen several GoFundMe campaigns set up in Robert Godwin's name, and is saying people should not contribute to those at this time.  The family plans to make a statement later today.

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

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