Facebook murder: manhunt for killer who livestreamed himself shooting elder on Cleveland street

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 April, 2017, 9:41am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 April, 2017, 9:13pm

A manhunt is underway for a suspect who police say killed an elderly man on the street Sunday while streaming it live on Facebook.

Law enforcement is searching the Cleveland area and beyond for Steve Stephens, the suspect police say walked up to the man and shot him while on video, said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.

The victim has been identified as 74-year-old Robert Goodwin Sr.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson publicly urged Stephens to turn himself into police and not to “do anymore harm to anybody.”

“Any problems he is having, we can have a conversation,” Jackson said.

In the video, Stephens said he “snapped” over a woman and claimed to have killed more than a dozen other people. Williams said police have not verified that information.

“There are no more victims that we know are tied to him,” he added.

The chief also said they’ve been talking with Stephens’ friends and family.

“What happened today was senseless,” Williams said.

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Authorities say Stephens broadcast the video live on the social media network Sunday afternoon. It was up for about three hours before it was removed. Stephens Facebook page has also been removed.

This is not the first time Facebook Live has been used to broadcast violence or death. In January, four people in Chicago were arrested after they allegedly beat and taunted a mentally disabled man live on the social media site. Then in March, a 15-year-old Chicago girl was apparently sexually assaulted by five or six men or boys on Facebook Live, and none of the roughly 40 people who watched the live video reported the attack to police, authorities said.

“This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook,” said a spokesperson for 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.”

Police say Stephens should be considered armed and dangerous.

Williams said Stephens may be driving a newer model white Ford Fusion, possibly with a temporary license plate. He is described as a black man with a bald head and beard, standing 183cm and weighing 110kg.