Wednesday, 26 July, 2017

Facebook killer takes his own life as police close in

Nellie Chapman | 21 April, 2017, 16:46

The Pennsylvania McDonald's employees who tipped off police and tried to stall Facebook murder suspect Steve Stephens are being called heroes on social media.

State police Major William Teper Jr. said the trooper who bumped Stephens' vehicle "saw him pull the gun out and shoot himself".

The break in the case came when police received a tip that Stephens was at the McDonald's in Erie, in far western Pennsylvania about 100 miles east of Cleveland, where he ordered a 20-piece Chicken McNuggets and fries. As the vehicle was spinning, troopers say Stephens pulled out a pistol and shot himself in the head.

On Sunday, Stephens allegedly shot and killed 74-year-old Robert Godwin, Sr., on E. 93rd Street and posted video of the killing to his Facebook account. But Stephens would not wait and drove away without his fries.

They said the chase lasted two miles and that officers had managed to disable Stephens auto.

Stephens uploaded video of himself shooting Godwin to his Facebook page. She said the chase slowed suddenly from 50 miles per hour to about 20 miles per hour when the road narrowed from four lanes to two. He took his McNuggets and whipped out of the parking lot, almost hitting Gail Wheeler, 54, a retail operations manager from Erie who was on her way home from the grocery store.

By the time he pulled out of the driveway and onto Buffalo Road, state police were behind him, DuCharme said.

After a brief exchange in which Mr Godwin was asked to say a woman's name - that of Stephens' ex-girlfriend, Joy Lane - he was shot dead. She then saw officers approach the auto. "They had their guns out but when he shook his head, they lowered their guns".

"This is something that should not have been shared around the world".

(Cleveland Police via AP, File). Godwin did not seem to recognize the name.

Detectives spoke with the suspect on Sunday by cellphone and tried to persuade him to surrender, police said.