CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities in several states were on the lookout Monday for a behavioral health case manager who posted gruesome Facebook video of himself randomly shooting a Cleveland retiree who was collecting discarded cans.
Cleveland police allege 37-year-old Steve Stephens shot a 74-year-old passer-by on Sunday in an apparently random attack.
While authorities said Stephens might have left Ohio, the city’s police chief added that his last known location was at the site of the shooting Sunday afternoon and that detectives spoke with the suspect by cellphone.
Officers have searched dozens of places around the city, said Chief Calvin Williams, who warned residents to be careful as the go about their day.
“He could be a lot of places,” said Stephen Anthony, the FBI’s top agent in Cleveland. “He could be nearby. He could be far away or anywhere in between.”
— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) April 17, 2017
Authorities have warned people in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be alert for Stephens, who is wanted on a charge of aggravated murder.
The victim, retired foundry worker Robert Godwin Sr., apparently was shot while out on a walk to collect discarded aluminum cans in a plastic shopping bag, something his son told Cleveland.com that Godwin did often.
Police said Monday that Godwin is the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite the suspect’s claim in a separate video on Facebook that he killed over a dozen people.
The motive for the shooting wasn’t entirely clear from the shaky video, in which Stephens tells Godwin a woman’s name and says, “She’s the reason that this is about to happen to you.” Godwin didn’t seem to recognize the woman’s name.
The suspect then points a gun at Godwin, who shields his face with the plastic bag.
Facebook said the video was posted after the killing but wasn’t broadcast on Facebook Live as police initially indicated. The suspect did go live on the social media site at another point Sunday.
The video of the killing was on Facebook for about three hours before it was removed. Stephens’ Facebook page also was eventually removed.
— Brian Reid (@reid_report) April 16, 2017
Cleveland shooter "Stevie Steve" is still alive and casually conversing with his friends. pic.twitter.com/b5nWC9Pq8U
— Hunter (@draefend) April 16, 2017