Cleveland Facebook Killer Dead by Suicide

By Sidney Fussell on at

Pennsylvania State Police confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Steve Stephens, the Ohio man who shot and killed 74-year-old Robert Godwin on Sunday and then uploaded a video of the slaying to Facebook, is dead. Stephens had been added to the FBI Most Wanted list and after a nationwide manhunt, PSPD says officers, responding to a tip, found Stephens around 11 AM Tuesday in Eerie, Pennsylvania. After a brief stand-off, he turned the gun on himself.

“A traffic stop was attempted, there was a brief pursuit, at which time Stephens shot and killed himself,” PSPD communications director Ryan Tarkowski said to reporters.

At the same press conference, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson thanked officers for their work.

“We have our closure,” Jackson told press.

On Sunday, Stephens uploaded three videos to Facebook. He encounters Godwin in the first and shoots him the second. In a blogpost Monday, Facebook released a timeline of Stephens uploading each video and how long it took to remove them:

Timeline of Events

11:09AM PDT — First video, of intent to murder, uploaded. Not reported to Facebook.

11:11AM PDT — Second video, of shooting, uploaded.

11:22AM PDT — Suspect confesses to murder while using Live, is live for 5 minutes.

11:27AM PDT — Live ends, and Live video is first reported shortly after.

12:59PM PDT — Video of shooting is first reported.

1:22PM PDT — Suspect’s account disabled; all videos no longer visible to public.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the shooting on Tuesday during the F8 developers conference, promising Facebook will do better in preventing violent content from being uploaded to the site.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Robert Godwin Sr.,” Zuckerberg told audiences.

Although Facebook pulled the videos and suspended Stephens’ account 23 minutes after they were first reported, Zuckerberg said Facebook could do better in quickly flagging and removing violent videos.

“We have a lot of work, and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening,” he said.


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