Gunman films himself on Facebook shooting dead an elderly man in the street and boasting about killing 15 people: Evil Cleveland
Evil Cleveland gunman films himself randomly shooting dead elderly man in the street and boasting about killing 15 people before posting it to Facebook - as cops desperately try to find him
Police are hunting a killer who shared a video of the moment he shot dead an innocent man in Cleveland and claims to have slaughtered 14 more.
Steve Stephens, 37, is on the loose in the Ohio city after he filmed the murder and posted it on social media at around 2pm Eastern Time on Easter Sunday.
An aggravated murder warrant was issued for his arrest late Sunday night, stating that in addition to those in Ohio, residents of the states of Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan are asked to be on alert.
The horrifying video, which police say is real, shows him driving up to an elderly man, getting out of his car, and opening fire.
The victim has been identified by Cleveland Police as Robert Godwin, 74, and his son told Cleveland.com that he was on an afternoon walk when he was approached by Stephens.
Stephens claimed on Facebook he had killed 15 people on Sunday, but only one death has been confirmed.
Stephens, who works a mental health care manager, also wrote that he ‘messed up’ in postings on social media, and blamed the shooting on a woman, believed to be his ex-partner.
He wrote in a Facebook post that the woman is Joy Lane, and that he would only stop if she or his mother called him. Lane is said to be an Air Force veteran, and he said the two dated for three years, and he wishes he’d never met her.
He is 6ft and is said to weight 240lbs. He is bald with a full beard. He is wearing a dark blue and gray or black striped polo shirt.
Police say he is driving around in a White Ford Fusion with temporary tags and is considered armed and dangerous.
Cleveland State University has issued a shelter in place, a campus spokesman told Fox 8.
The university also reportedly sent out a text messages to its students which read: ‘Cleveland police are searching for a murder suspect last seen south of Interstate 90 in the area of E93rd.’
His ex-girlfriend, Joy Lane, is reportedly currently in protective custody.
Stephens’ Facebook and all posts have since been taken down. The video of the shooting was on his page for three hours.
A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement: ‘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.’
Cleveland Police held a news conference with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and police chief Calvin Williams.
Mayor Jackson said: ‘We want to communicate to him that he will eventually be caught. He need not do any more harm to anyone, any innocent people, and any concerns and problems he’s having we’re here to have a conversation with him.’
Williams then said: ‘We need Steve to turn himself in. There are two families out there who are hurting, Mr Godwin’s family and people who care about Steve, we are asking him to turn himself in.’
‘Everyone is out there looking for Steve. We want this to end with as much peace as we can bring to this right now, and we want him to turn himself in. If that doesn’t happen we have all of our partners on this and we’ll look till we find him.’
He then said that they have the FBI and state and county partners working with them, and asked for anyone who knows anything to call 911.
Earlier on Sunday, Stephens blamed casinos and his lack of self control in the ‘Easter Sunday massacre’ in Cleveland. He specifically named the Jack Casino in Cleveland.
He said that the casinos and his lack of self-control caused him to ‘lose everything’, and according to court records, he filed for bankruptcy.
In the original Facebook post that has since been removed, he said: ‘Easter day slaughter because of joy lane,’ and ‘I killed 12 people and I won’t stop unit my mother and joy lane call me.’ The woman named is believed to be his ex-partner.
Later on he reportedly claimed to have killed three more people, and said that the bodies were in an abandoned house.
In the video, he pulls up to an elderly man in his car and says: ‘Finally found somebody I’m going to kill, I’m going to go kill this old dude.’
He then gets out and walks up to Godwin, who appears to be holding a shopping bag.
The two exchange a few words and the elderly man looks to be trying to shield himself. Stephens then lifts his gun and shoots him.
Moments Stephens shot and killed a man
Police chief Calvin Williams said that Godwin was picked out at random in this ‘senseless’ murder.
The shooting happened on East 93 Street just south of the Interstate 90 in the city’s Glenville neighborhood, Cleveland police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said, told the Plain Dealer.
Cleveland Police said in a statement: ‘Cleveland Police are currently investigating a homicide at 635 E. 93.
‘Suspect did broadcast the killing on Facebook Live and has claimed to have committed multiple other homicides which are yet to be verified.
‘Suspect in this case is a bm (black male) Steve Stephens 6’1 244 bald with a full beard
‘Wearing dark blue and grey or black striped polo shirt. White or cream colored SUV. Armed and dangerous. If seen call 9-1-1. Do not approach.’
Other videos on his social media profile show him at a gun range.
The video was originally thought to have been shared via Facebook live, however the company later clarified, saying that Stephens shared the murder online but did not livestream it.
A man and woman said that the man killed in the video, Godwin, was their father in an interview with Cleveland 19 News.
The two are distraught, and the man says: ‘He’s a good guy, he’d give you the shirt off his back. I’m not just saying that for these cameras. I’m telling the truth this man right here was a good man.’
The woman adds that her hearts ‘feels like it’s going to stop.’
In another video posted to his Facebook, Stephens says that he is a case manager at Beech Brook, which is a children’s mental health facility in Cleveland. He blames his workplace for driving him to kill people in that video.
‘For 165 years, Beech Brook has been serving Northeast Ohio’s most vulnerable children. Today as a leading behavioral health agency, Beech Brook will serve more than 18,000 children and families this year,’ the company’s website says.
‘Beech Brook touches the lives of children, teens and families through an array of services ranging from prevention, education and early intervention to community-based programming to strengthen and support youth and families.’
‘We are shocked and horrified and we don’t know anything more about it,’ agency spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer told WOIO-TV. ‘We hope and pray that he is arrested as soon as possible and we hope and pray for a resolution quickly.’