Police in Ohio urged residents in surrounding states on Monday to be on alert for a man who they said shot and killed an elderly passerby seemingly at random and then posted a gruesome video of the killing on Facebook.
Steve Stephens, 37, was wanted on a charge of aggravated murder in the death of Robert Godwin Sr. in Cleveland.
The suspect’s mother told CNN that when she last saw Stephens on Saturday, he said it would be a miracle if she ever saw him again. They spoke the next day, she said, and he told her he was shooting people because he was angry with his girlfriend.
Stephens’ cell phone last released a “ping,” or a signal, in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles east of Cleveland, Pennsylvania authorities told CNN, but Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams told reporters Monday he couldn’t speak to that. Stephens’ last known location was the murder scene, he said.
Appearing alongside a US marshal and FBI agent, Williams said investigators have searched dozens of locations, “to no avail,” and that one of his detectives had spoken to Stephens via cell phone after the murder. He did not elaborate on the call, other than to say the detective attempted to convince Stephens to surrender.
“We’re still asking Steve to turn himself in, but if he doesn’t, we’ll find him,” the chief said. “We’re not going to stop until we find him.”
A video was posted Sunday to a Facebook account apparently belonging to Stephens — the user’s name is listed as Stevie Steve, and a city representative confirmed it belongs to him. In the video, the man filming walks up to Godwin, after asking him a question, shoots him. The video, which was posted about 2 p.m. ET and was later taken down, was captioned, in part, “Easter day slaughter.”