On Monday, police issued alerts to residents of four states surrounding Steve Stephens, 37, the Cleveland man who killed an elderly citizen at random during a Facebook Live stream.
Authorities stated Stephens is responsible for killing Robert Godwin, 74, and may have fled to Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana or Michigan from Ohio. Stephens is expected to be charged with aggravated murder and is considered armed and dangerous.
Reportedly, Stephens got out of his car and started yelling a woman’s name at Godwin, which clearly confused him. In the video, Godwin cowers as Stephens holds a gun to his face and shouts: “She’s the reason that this is about to happen to you.”
The video remained on Facebook for nearly three hours, before website officials took it down and removed Stephens’ entire Facebook account. A company spokesperson released a formal statement about Stephens’ social media actions:
“This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook. We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety.”
“If Steve has an issue, then he needs to talk to some folks to get that resolved,” said Police Chief Calvin Williams, who has initiated a high-profile manhunt to find Stephens. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson also asserted that Stephens should refrain from doing “any more harm to anybody.”
Nancy Kortemeyer, who is a representative for the behavioral health agency Beech Brook, also released a statement on behalf of the company Stephens worked for as a case manager:
“We were shocked and horrified to learn of this news today. We are hoping that the Cleveland Police will be able to apprehend Mr. Stephens as soon as possible and before anyone else is injured.”
Following Kortemeyer’s sentiment, Stephens’ affiliated fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, released its own statement:
“On behalf of the Supreme Council and the members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, we lift our sincere and heartfelt prayers and condolences of comfort to the families impacted by the recent shooting in Cleveland, Ohio.”
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