Saturday, 25 November, 2017

Facebook murder suspect kills himself after police pursuit

Search For Facebook Killer Continues Search For Facebook Killer Continues
Javier Burns | 23 April, 2017, 03:26

Acting on a tip, Pennsylvania State Police spotted Stephens, 37, in Erie County, in the state's northwest corner, and went after him.

The man known as the "Facebook killer" may have been taken down by a group of McDonald's employees in Erie, Pennsylvania, authorities said Tuesday.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf tweeted his thanks to the Pennsylvania State Police for their vigilance in pursuing Stephens.

Stephens, a job counselor who worked with teenagers and young people, was wanted on murder charges in the shooting of Robert Godwin Sr., a 74-year-old former foundry worker and father of 10 who was picking up aluminum cans on Sunday when he was gunned down.

Speaking at a press conference following confirmation of Stephens' death, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said that "there was a short pursuit in which the vehicle was stopped", and "as officers approached the vehicle, he took his own life".

In the footage Stephens pulls over in a vehicle on a street in Cleveland as he says: "Find me somebody to kill, gonna kill this guy right here".

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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Lane said she and Stephens dated for a while, and had discussed getting engaged, but they broke up and she urged him to seek help for gambling issues.

Stephens live-broadcast a video Sunday on Facebook in which he stops Godwin on the street and asked him to say the name Joy Lane - later found to be Stephens' estranged girlfriend.

Lane said it has been hard watching her name dominate social media, where her connection to the killer became a topic of discussion over the weekend. "We would have preferred that it had not ended this way", he added, saying he and the community would have had "a lot of questions" for Stephens.

"She's the reason why, um, this is about to happen to you", said Stephens off camera.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has said the social network "has a lot of work to do" in order to prevent repeats of the Cleveland shooting of Robert Godwin Sr, after a video of his murder was shared on the site. The entire McDonald's family's thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this tragic situation. "One thing I do want to say, is that I forgive [the killer]".

Although Facebook pulled the videos and suspended Stephens' account 23 minutes after they were first reported, Zuckerberg said Facebook could do better in quickly flagging and removing violent videos. Video of the incident was posted on Facebook.

"The next thing I know, they're approaching the vehicle".

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