ERIE, Pa. (WIVB) — Steve Stephens told his Facebook followers on Easter Sunday he had killed more than a dozen people. But when the manhunt came to a close early Tuesday, two men were dead, one of which was the 37-year-old Stephens, who had shot himself.
Stephens’ sole victim was 74-year-old Robert Godwin, Sr., who was walking home from a family get together celebrating the holiday. Late Sunday morning, Stephens posted a video on Facebook that showed him killing Godwin.
Authorities in multiple states had been searching for him since then. They received nearly 400 tips.
“This investigation would be nowhere without tips,” said Maj. William A. Teper, Jr.
More than 100 miles away from where Stephens committed suicide, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams told media gathered at City Hall, “the search for Steve Stephens has ended.”
Williams said the investigation will continue.
“There’s a lot of things about this that we don’t know,” he said, offering the example “there are a lot of places to hide in east Erie.”
“People in the area may have seen him and not put two and two together in the past couple days,” Williams said.
Federal partners were involved in the hunt for Stephens, and were stationed in Erie. Law enforcement officials were on alert in the Erie area, because Teper said “Mr. Stephens was a gambler.”
It is not clear if Stephens was being helped by anyone.
Regarding the spread of the video on social media, Williams said “‘This is something that should not have been shared around the world. Period. We can’t do this in this country.”
“I think people on social media know the power and the harm it can do,” Williams said.
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.