Steve Stephens, the man suspected of shooting Robert Godwin Sr., took his own life yesterday after a brief police chase.
Police picked up his trail after he was spotted at a McDonalds. Restaurant employees recognized him and tried to “buy some time for the cops” by telling Stephens that his order of fries was delayed, according to restaurant owner Thomas DuCharme Jr.
Stephens took off, saying he had no time to wait. The chase last only about 3 kms before Stephens stopped his vehicle and shot himself.
“As the officers approached that vehicle, Steve Stephens took his own life,” said Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williams. “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.
The hunt for Stephens began 4 days ago after he posted the video on Facebook showing him killing Godwin, a retired father of 10. In a separate video, he claimed to have killed dozens of others, but police have not found any evidence.
Since 2008, Stephens worked has a job counsellor for teens and young people, had cleared an extensive background check, and had no prior criminal record. His motive for killing Godwin remains unclear as he didn’t appear to know him.
In the video, which has since been taken down by Facebook, Stephens said “I snapped, I just snapped.” He also mentioned a woman’s name, telling Godwin, “She’s the reason this is about to happen to you.”
Apparently his life was falling apart due to girlfriend troubles and gambling debt.
Stephens rambled on in other Facebook videos about not having many other options and wanting to kill as many innocent people as he could.
The woman mentioned in the video, Joy Lane, told CBS that he was a “nice guy.” They had been in a relationship for several years, during which she said he was good to her and her children.
“I am sorry that all of this has happened,” she said.
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