Pictured are Cleveland murder victim Robert Godwin Sr. ,74, and his killer Steve Stephens, 37 (weraing full beard), who posted a brodcast of the tragic killing on Facebook Live on Easter Sunday. Stephens allegedly committed suicide on Tuesday, April 18 in Erie, Pennsylvania in his 2016 ford fusion as police were in hot pursuit following a tip that carries a $50,000 reward
CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM-CLEVELAND, Ohio- Steve Stephens, a Cleveland area man made famous after allegedly killing a 74-year-old Black man at random on April 16 and posting a video of the shooting on Facebook, was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Tuesday in Erie, Pennsylvania, police said.
The random killing has rocked the largely Black major American city of Cleveland, many running for cover as Stephens, who was Black, said in a broadcast on Facebook Live that he had allegedly killed some 13 people, the latter accusation not substantiated by law enforcement officials to date.
Standing 6 feet tall, weighing roughly 244 pounds and wearing a full beard, the 37-year-old Stephens had been on the run since Sunday when an aggravated murder arrest warrant was issued for his arrest.
The arrest warrant was coupled with a $50,000 award for information leading to his arrest, and a nationwide manhunt ultimately ensued.
"Stay away from Saint Clair and do not ride down Superior," activist Grio Y-Von told Cleveland Urban News.Com Sunday afternoon, referencing two major streets on the city's east side.
As the news of the killing spread across the city even Black male community activists were aggressively seeking the whereabouts of Stephens, who worked with troubled youth for nearly a decade yet was troubled himself, sources said.
Stephens was in Erie in a McDonald's parking lot at mid-morning Tuesday, April 18, when someone spotted him and called in a tip, Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williams said during a subsequent press conference.
And when police got the tip and began pursuit of the alleged murderer, he allegedly shot himself when troopers approached the infamous White 2016 ford fusion he was driving, the same vehicle he was driving when he allegedly shot his 74-year-old victim, Robert Godwin Sr.
A former foundry worker, Godwin, who was shot point blank in the head, was collecting cans after eating Easter Sunday dinner with family members and was gunned down in cold blood around 2 pm on East 93rd Street, an inner city street south of Interstate 90 and near Saint Clair Avenue in Cleveland's majority Black Glenville neighborhood.
Godwin is survived by 10 children and 14 grandchildren, several of whom spoke out on local television against the killing of their beloved father, his namesake expressing discontent and calling for the heightened killings and Black on Black crime in Cleveland to cease.
"To lose a parent is hard," said Robert Godwin Jr. with tears streaming from his face. "Stop the killing."
The older Godwin's eight-year-old son, one of two children with his girlfriend of 18 years, Angela Smith, 34, was distraught at a community vigil held for his deceased father.
"He killed my daddy for no reason," said Marshawn, 8, the youngest of Godwin's children "I love my daddy very much."
Cleveland police are headed to Erie for further investigation, Chief Williams, who is Black, said.
Stephens was in financial trouble, which may have contributed to his erratic behavior, law enforcement officials said. And he had relationship problems too.
Via his Facebook rant, Stephens blamed the horrific killing on his girlfriend, Joy Lane, who later told CNN that he was a nice guy under pressure, though she said she was sorry for what he had allegedly done.
Neighbors and some associates, however, said Stephens, who had a valid concealed-carry gun permit and no felony record, was weird with an up and down personality, and that he had a mean streak and abused animals, once killing a parakeet for no apparent reason.
Court records reveal that he had been evicted from several suburban apartment complexes, and declared personal bankruptcy two years ago.
Before the tragic killing Stephens worked for Beechbrook in Pepper Pike, an affluent Cleveland suburb, previously serving as a youth mentor and more recently as a vocation specialist who helped youth and young adults from 16 to 25 find career opportunities.