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Police: Suspect kills elderly victim on Facebook Live, manhunt continues

Facebook Live murder suspect
Police search for man they say killed person live on Facebook 02:17

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Police say a man killed someone on Facebook Live and a manhunt is underway Sunday.

The suspect broadcast the killing on Facebook Live around 2 p.m. ET, police said, and has claimed to have committed multiple other homicides which are yet to be verified.

An undated mugshot shows suspect Steve Stephens, who is wanted by Cleveland police. Cleveland Police Department

Emergency staffers at the Cleveland Clinic is on standby for mass casualties, CBS affiliate WOIO reports.

In the video, which has been removed from Facebook, the suspect pulls up to an elderly man who is walking on the side of the road. He tells the man to say a woman’s name and pulls out his gun. The elderly man repeatedly tells the suspect he doesn’t know the woman -- believed to be Stephens’ former girlfriend -- but the suspect pulls the trigger, shooting the man in the head, leaving him bloodied in the street.

The suspect walks away and says the elderly man is dead because of the woman.

Authorities identified the suspect as Steve Stephens, a 6-foot, 1-inch tall African American male with a full beard. He weighs 244 lbs. The suspect is believed to be wearing a dark blue and gray or black striped polo shirt.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin D. Williams gave a press conference to urge the public to call 911 if they see suspect Steve Stephens and to not approach him as he is considered armed and dangerous. WOIO-TV

Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson and Police Chief Calvin D. Williams held a press conference Sunday evening with the latest details.

“Steve Stephens killed an elderly gentleman. I personally give my condolences to the family of the victim,” Jackson said.

“We know who Steve Stephens is and he will be eventually caught. He need not to do anymore harm to any innocent people. Whatever concerns or problems that he’s having, we’re here to have a conversation,” the mayor said.

“We need Steve to turn himself in,” Williams said. “We want this to end with as much peace as we can bring to this right now. If that doesn’t happen, we have all our partners in on this and will look until we find him.”

Williams said state, county and federal officials are helping with the capture of the suspect. As of this evening, there have been no sightings of the suspect. Officials have confirmed that the city is not on lockdown.

Williams also said that there are no other victims and urges the public to come forward with any information. “We need to get Steve off the streets,” he said. “There’s no need for any more bloodshed.”

The chief said officials are in contact with Stephens’ family to track him down and that the victim was picked at random. The victim has been identified as 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr.

Robert Godwin, Sr. seen in a photo posted online. He was killed Sun., April 16, 2017, while on a walk during Easter Sunday in Cleveland. WOIO-TV

A man who spoke with WOIO said the victim was his father.

“He was a good guy. He would give you the shirt off his back,” he said. “I’m not just saying that for these cameras … This man, right here, was a good man and I hate that he’s gone.”

WOIO obtained photos of the victim as his family is devastated over their loss. The family had just celebrated Easter with him at a family dinner.

Police are searching for a white Ford Fusion that belongs to the suspect. They said the suspect was last seen south of Interstate-90 in the area of East 93rd.

Williams said the car was recently purchased and thinks there is a temporary tag and that the plates could have been switched. The car has Ohio temporary tag: E363630.

The FBI told CBS News that it will will provide additional personnel, investigative techniques and various resources to this ongoing situation.

Joy Lane, Stephens’ longtime partner, broke her silence on the shooting in a text message to CBS News.

“We had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened. My heart & prayers goes out to the family members of the victim(s). Steve really is a nice guy... he is generous with everyone he knows. He was kind and loving to me and my children. This is a very difficult time for me and my family Please respect our privacy at this time.”

Ealrier, Cleveland State University officials on Twitter urged people to stay remain in a safe location or stay away from campus but has since lifted a lockdown tonight.

Stephens’ Facebook page has since been deactivated as of Sunday evening after he published footage of the shooting and Facebook issued the following statement:

“This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook. We take our responsibility to keep people safe on Facebook very seriously, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety.”

Stephens worked at Beech Brook as a case worker -- which assists children, adolescent and adults with behavioral health.

“We are shocked and horrified like everyone else,” said Nancy Kortemeyer, a spokeswoman for Beech Brook. “To think that one of our employees could do this is awful.”

Stephens’ mother, Maggie Green, spoke to CNN and she said that he was “mad with his girlfriend. That’s why he is shooting people and he won’t stop until his mother or girlfriend tell him to stop.”

A map showing the site of a confirmed homicide as a manhunt continues for suspect Steve Stephens. WOIO-TV

This is a developing story. An earlier version of this story stated the victim’s last name was Goodwin instead of Godwin.

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