Manhunt underway in Cleveland for suspect who broadcast killing on Facebook: Police

Cleveland Police(CLEVELAND) -- Police in Cleveland, Ohio, are searching for a man who they say killed an elderly man and broadcast it on Facebook Live.

The incident happened at about 2 p.m., police said. The suspect, identified by police as Steve Stephens, is described as 6-foot-1, 244 pounds and bald with a full beard. He is wearing a dark blue and gray- or black-striped polo shirt and believed to be driving a white Ford Fusion, according to police.

Cleveland police issued a warrant for Stephens on a charge of aggravated murder.

The police said Stephens may already have left Ohio and asked residents of Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be on alert. Police in the city of Erie, Pennsylvania confirmed to ABC news early Monday that they had been notified of a ping detected from Stephens' cell phone on the east side of Erie County.

In the video, which has since been removed from Facebook, the elderly victim, later identified by police as Robert Godwin Sr., 74, can be seen raising his hands in an apparent attempt to ward off his attacker before he is shot once in the head.

Stephens claims to have committed multiple homicides, according to police. No additional victims have been found, though officers are searching multiple locations, police said.

In a press conference Sunday evening, police urged Stephens to turn himself in.

"Everybody is looking for Steve," said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, adding that there have been no confirmed sightings of the suspect since the Facebook Live event occurred.

Williams added that the killing is believed to be random.

Stephens is a member of the assertive community treatment team at Beech Brook, a mental health organization in northeast Ohio, a spokesperson for his employer confirmed.

"We learned about [the shooting] this afternoon when someone saw it on FB and notified us," said Nancy Kortemeyer, vice president of marketing and PR at Beech Brook. "We are doing everything we can to help and help locate him."

She added: "We are shocked and horrified."

Stephens is considered armed and dangerous, according to police.

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson called the incident a "horrific crime" and said that the company does "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," the Facebook spokesperson added.

The FBI is assisting Cleveland police in the investigation.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Check Also

042317_HT-elizabeth-thomas-jt-170318_v4x3_12x5_1600.jpg

Tennessee teen’s sister on kidnapping, ‘roller coaster’ of emotions

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Elizabeth Thomas’ older sister, Kat Bozeman, said her family has experienced a "roller coaster" of emotions since her sister was returned home on Friday."It’s a roller coaster. Some...