The man who randomly killed a Cleveland retiree and posted video of the crime on Facebook shot himself to death in his vehicle Tuesday during a police chase in Pennsylvania, ending a multistate manhunt less than 48 hours after it began.
The suspect's white Ford Fusion auto had been spotted in the vehicle park of a McDonald's in Erie, near a local police headquarters. The chase lasted 2 miles before Stephens shot himself in the head after the auto spun and came to a stop, police said.
Steve Stephens allegedly shot and killed seventy-four year-old Robert Godwin in Cleveland, Ohio, on Easter Sunday, before uploading a video of the murder on Facebook and going on the run from police. While speaking at the company's annual conference for software developers, the Facebook chief also expressed his sympathies to the family of the shooting victim Robert Godwin Sr.
Gail Wheeler, of Erie, said she was stopped at a light at the McDonald's when Stephens came "whipping out" of the parking lot, almost hitting her.
Police earlier Sunday had said that Stephens had broadcast it on Facebook Live.
Facebook Vice President for Global Operations and Media Partnerships Justin Osofsky wrote in a blog, "We prioritize reports with serious safety implications for our community, and are working on making that review process go even faster".
Stephens filed for bankruptcy two years ago despite holding down a job as a counselor helping young people develop job skills and find employment. The behavioral health agency where he worked said an extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome.
The family of Mr Godwin - a father of 10 and grandfather of 14 - said on Monday they forgave the suspected killer.
The shooting marked the latest video clip of a violent crime to turn up on Facebook, raising questions about how the world's biggest social media network moderates content.
Officers searched dozens of places around Cleveland without finding Stephens or any other victims before expanding the manhunt. When authorities tried to pull him over, he shot and killed himself.
That gruesome video stayed online for more than two hours before Facebook removed it, sparking widespread criticism of the company.
"They don't make men like him anymore. I forgive him", Tonya Godwin Baines said.