Facebook killer takes his own life as police close in

Geronimo Vena
Aprile 20, 2017

The man wanted in connection with a fatal shooting after video of the incident was posted on Facebook is dead following a brief pursuit in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

Stephens was found dead after a brief police pursuit in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.

Stephens, who had no prior criminal record, was not suspected in any other killings, Cleveland officials had said.

On Monday, authorities announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to Stephens' arrest.

It appears that a tip-off led police to finding his auto in a McDonalds parking lot this morning, after which police briefly pursued Stephens.

Authorities in Cleveland have expanded their manhunt nationwide for Stephens, a man suspected of gunning down a retiree and posting a video of the crime on Facebook.

Facebook vice president Justin Osofsky said the company was reviewing the procedure that users go through to report videos and other material that violates the social media platform's standards.

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. Stephens videotaped the random killing and later posted it to Facebook.

Godwin's family has forgiven Stephens and said they hold no animosity toward him.

The shooting video was visible on Facebook for almost two hours before it was reported, the company said. "We have a lot of work to do and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening".

Godwin's daughter Debbie Godwin tells The Associated Press she would have preferred Stephens remained alive and faced prison time.

Police said in a 3:30 p.m. news conference that an autopsy of Stephens' body will occur Wednesday at the Erie County Coroner's Office. She said the chase slowed suddenly from 50 miles per hour to about 20 miles per hour when the road narrowed from four lanes to two.

Godwin's sister said she feels, "Angry sometimes", over Robert's death and that she was hoping Stephens would be brought to justice.

State police caught up to Stephens quickly and gave chase.

"And this is a prime example, this is something that should not have been shared around the world". Before the shooting, Stephens demanded that he say "Joy Lane", the name of his ex-girlfriend.

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