Cleveland police are currently hunting a killer who not only shared a video on Facebook of himself shooting an innocent man, but has also boasted to murdering at least 14 more. The suspect, Steve Stephens, 37, posted the video at around 2pm EST on Sunday afternoon and is still on the loose, believed to be around Ohio City.
A warrant for aggravated murder has been issued, but police have also asked that residents in Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York and Michigan be on alert. Stephens was last seen wearing a dark blue and gray or black striped polo shirt, driving a white Ford Fusion with temporary tags and is considered armed and dangerous. Cleveland State University has sent texts to students which read, “Cleveland police are searching for a murder suspect last seen south of Interstate 90 in the area of E93rd.”
In his shocking video, one which police police believe to be real, Stephens drives up to a man identified by Cleveland police as 74-year-old Robert Godwin and says “finally found somebody I’m going to kill, I’m going to go kill this old dude,” then gets out and opens fire. Godwin’s son told cleveland.com that his father was on his daily afternoon walk when he was approached by Stephens. Although Stephens claimed on Facebook that he has now killed 15 people, Godwin is the only confirmed fatality.
Stephens, a mental healthcare manager, wrote on Facebook that he “messed up” by posting the video on social media and pinned the blame for his error in judgement on Joy Lane, a woman believed to be his ex-partner. Stephens even went as far as to claim that he would only stop if he received a phone call from Lane, an Air Force veteran, and his mother. Lane is reportedly in protective custody.
Stephens’ profile has since been removed from Facebook, the video only being accessible on his page for three hours. Stephens had previously filed for bankruptcy, blaming losses at the time on casinos, however, some of his original Facebook posts read “Easter day slaughter because of joy lane” and “I killed 12 people and I won’t stop unit my mother and joy lane call me,” among others. He later claimed to have killed another three, leaving their bodies in an abandoned house.
A Facebook representative delivered the following statement: “This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on 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.”
Cleveland Police have also released a statement, “Cleveland Police are currently investigating a homicide at 635 E. 93. Suspect did broadcast the killing on Facebook Live and has claimed to have committed multiple other homicides which are yet to be verified. Suspect in this case is a bm (black male) Steve Stephens 6’1 244 bald with a full beard. “