Man sought in Cleveland Facebook killing is dead

19 April, 2017, 02:00 | Author: Michele Stevens
  • Only Steve Knows: Police Baffled by Facebook Video Killing

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams has said Stephens apparently chose Godwin at random. Last summer, the death of Philando Castile, a Minnesota man shot by the police during a traffic stop, was broadcast by his girlfriend live across Facebook. Stephens was later seen in a Facebook video, saying, "I found somebody I'm about to kill".

He also posted several Facebook Live videos bragging about an unconfirmed claim that he'd killed at least a dozen other people.

Following a fatal shooting that was reportedly streamed live on Facebook Live on Sunday, Facebook has released a statement entitled Community Standards and Reporting. The algorithms that control what you see on your Google search results, Facebook feed and other online platforms rely largely on accumulated user data to determine what is most relevant.

The break in the case came when police received a tip that Stephens' auto was in the McDonald's parking lot in Erie, in the northwestern corner of the state, about 100 miles east of Cleveland, authorities said.

"This is what we would consider a national search for Steve", Williams told reporters.

Authorities have warned people in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and MI to be alert for Stephens, who is wanted on a charge of aggravated murder.

Mr Williams said the shooter, Steve Stephens, 37, is armed "without a doubt".

Stephens asked the victim to say the name of a woman believed to be associated with the suspect.

He was wanted on an aggravated murder charge in the shooting death of a 74-year-old man who was picking up aluminum cans on Sunday after spending Easter with his family.

Regarding the chilling video, Williams said Tuesday, "This is something that should not have been shared around the world".

The FBI has also posted Stephens' photo on billboards in OH and surrounding states.

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They said the hunt for him had expanded nationwide.

In the Godwin case, police said Monday that the family had not set up a GoFundMe account.

A reward of up to $50,000 is being offered for information leading to his arrest.

Facebook did not immediately respond to inquiries about the gap between when it appears the confession was reported and the shooting video was discovered and taken down.

Godwin was a father of nine children and grandfather of 14, his son Robert Godwin Jr told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"I am sorry that all of this has happened", she told CBS News.

Stephens' video on Facebook, which lasts about a minute, shows a driver pulling up to an older man on a sidewalk.

Facebook said murder suspect Steve Stephens had initially uploaded a video announcing his intent to commit murder - but it was not reported.

Beech Brook employs some 200 workers and chose to close its two locations on Monday as a precaution, "out of concerns for the safety of our staff, clients and other visitors to our sites", the agency said on social media. He said the company is working to ensure that such content and reports of it can be flagged faster, including through the use of artificial intelligence and a better review process.

"Early in this investigation, we did have contact with him, direct contact with our detectives", Williams said.


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