Cleveland police are hunting Steve Stephens, who they say killed a man on Facebook Live, and has claimed to have killed more
Police are hunting a killer who live-streamed the moment he shot dead an innocent man in Cleveland and claims to have slaughtered 14 more.
Steve Stephens, 37, is on the loose in the Ohio city after he recorded the shocking act on social media at around 3pm Eastern Time on Easter Sunday.
The horrifying video, which police say is real, shows him driving up to an elderly man, who has been identified as Mr Goodwin, in the street and opening fire.
He claims to have killed 15 people on Sunday, but only one death has been confirmed.
Stephens, who works a mental health care manager, also wrote that he ‘messed up’ in postings on social media, and blamed the shooting on a woman, believed to be his ex-partner.
He wrote in a Facebook post that the woman is Joy Lane, and that he would only stop if she or his mother called him. Lane is said to be an Air Force veteran, and he said that the two dated for three years, and he wishes he’d never met her.
Cleveland Police have confirmed that the video posted to Facebook Live showing an elderly man being shot is legitimate.
He is 6ft and is said to weight 240lbs. He is bald with a full beard. He is wearing a dark blue, and gray or black striped polo shirt.
Stephens is said to be on the loose in the Ohio city after he allegedly recorded the shocking act on social media. He is pictured left in a police issued photo
Police say he is driving around in a White Ford Fusion with temporary tags and is considered armed and dangerous.
Cleveland State University has issued a shelter in place, a campus spokesman told Fox 8. The Cleveland Clinic is also on lock down now because of the shooter, according to Tia Ewing of Cleveland 19 News.
The University also sent out a text messages to its students, according to Heavy, which says ‘Cleveland police are searching for a murder suspect last seen south of Interstate 90 in the area of E93rd’.
Stephens’s Facebook and all posts have since been taken down. The video of the shooting was on his page for three hours.
A company spokesperson said in a 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 held a news conference with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and police chief Calvin Williams
Stephens is still at large and is described as 6ft and is said to weight 240lbs. He is bald with a full beard. He is wearing a dark blue, and gray or black striped polo shirt
Cleveland Police held a news conference with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and police chief Calvin Williams.
Mayor Jackson said: ‘We want to communicate to him that he will eventually be caught. He need not do any more harm to anyone, any innocent people, and any concerns and problems he’s having we’re here to have a conversation with him.’
Stevens then said: ‘We need Steve to turn himself in. There are two families out there who are hurting, Mr. Goodwin’s family and people who care about Steve, we are asking him to turn himself in.’
‘Everyone is out there looking for Steve. We want this to end with as much peace as we can bring to this right now, and we want him to turn himself in. If that doesn’t happen we have all of our partners on this and we’ll look till we find him.’
He then said that they have the FBI and state and county partners working with them, and asked for anyone who knows anything to call 911.
Stills from a Facebook Live video appears to show the moments that Stephens shot and killed a man. The victim has been identified as a Mr Goodwin
At the moment he pulls the trigger, he angles the camera away from the victim. However, he then looks back and the victim is shown laying on the ground with blood coming from his head
Earlier on Sunday, Stephens blamed casinos and his lack of self control for the ‘Easter Sunday massacre’ in Cleveland. He specifically names the Jack Casino in Cleveland.
Though only one of the murders has been confirmed by police, he claims to have killed at least 14 others, and a woman online claims that he killed a two-year-old as well.
In the original Facebook post that has since been removed, he said: ‘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.’ The woman named is believed to be his ex-partner.
Later on he claimed to have killed three more people, and said that the bodies were in an abandoned house, reported Heavy.
In the live video, he pulls up to an elderly man in his car and says: ‘Finally found somebody I’m going to Kill, I’m going to go kill this old dude.’
He then gets out and walks up to the man. The two exchange a few words and the elderly man looks to be trying to shield himself. Stephens then lifts his gun and shoots him.
Earlier on Sunday, Stephens blamed casinos and his lack of self control for the ‘Easter Sunday massacre’ in Cleveland. He specifically names the Jack Casino in Cleveland
Police chief Calvin Williams said that Mr Goodwin was picked out at random in this ‘senseless’ murder.
Friends have desperately been trying to get him to stop.
The shooting happened on East 93 Street just south of the Interstate 90 in the city’s Glenville neighborhood, Cleveland police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said, told the Plain Dealer.
Cleveland Police said in 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.
Stephens posted to Facebook that for the last year his life has been f*** up, and that he lost everything he had due to gambling. He also blamed the murders on ‘Joy Lane’ who he is pictured with right
‘Wearing dark blue and grey or black striped polo shirt. White or cream colored SUV. Armed and dangerous. If seen call 9-1-1. Do not approach.’
Other videos on his social media profile show him at a gun range.
Shanice Dunning from Cleveland 19 News spoke with a man and woman who has said that the man killed in the video was their 78 year old father.
The two are distraught, and the man says: ‘He’s a good guy, he’d give you the shirt off his back. I’m not just saying that for these cameras. I’m telling the truth this man right here was a good man.’
The woman adds that her hearts ‘feels like it’s going to stop.’
Stevens posted a photo of himself and Joy, who he seems to partially blame for the killing specifically mentions in a number of other posts
Stephens also wrote that he ‘messed up’ in postings on social media, and blamed the shooting on a woman, believed to be his ex-partner
In another video posted to his Facebook, Stephens says that he is a case manager at Beech Brook, which is a children’s mental health facility in Cleveland. He blames his workplace for driving him to kill people in that video.
‘For 165 years, Beech Brook has been serving Northeast Ohio’s most vulnerable children. Today as a leading behavioral health agency, Beech Brook will erve more than 18,000 children and families this year,’ the company’s website says.
‘Beech Brook touches the lives of children, teens and families through an array of services ranging from prevention, education and early intervention to community-based programming to strengthen and support youth and families.’
According to a CBS Cleveland 19 producer Cassie Nist, Beech Brook commented: ‘We are shocked an horrified and we don’t know anything more about it. We hope and pray that he is arrested as soon as possible and we hope and pray for a resolution quickly’.