Steve Stephens, suspected of posting murder to Facebook, has killed himself

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson confirms Steve Stephens shot and killed himself after a three-day manhunt. (Sinclair Broadcast Group)

Steve Stephens, the man who triggered a national manhunt after police said he posted a video of himself killing a random man on the street, killed himself Tuesday in Pennsylvania.

"Steve Stephens was spotted this morning by [Pennsylvania State Police] members in Erie County," an official wrote on Twitter, posted at 11:46 a.m. ET. "After a brief pursuit, Stephens shot and killed himself."

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams confirmed Stephens shot himself after Pennsylvania State Police followed a tip leading to Stephens' car that was parked in a McDonald's parking lot. A little after 11 a.m. local time, troopers found Stephens sitting in his white Ford Fusion. Police pulled Stephens over to the side of the road and as troopers approached his car, he shot himself.

“We are grateful to the people that gave this tip to Pennsylvania State Police. ... we are grateful that this has ended," Williams said.

Authorities this week offered a $50,000 reward for Stephens. Cleveland police said they received hundreds of tips leading to Stephens' whereabouts.

On Monday, several Pennsylvania schools were placed on lockdown following reports of a sighting.

Investigators believe Stephens shot and killed 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. on Easter. The killing appeared to be random.

In the video, which appears shaky, Stephens gets out of his car and appears to randomly target Godwin, who was holding a shopping bag. Stephens says the name of a woman, whom Godwin does not seem to recognize.

"She's the reason that this is about to happen to you," Stephens told Godwin before pointing a gun at him. Godwin can be seen shielding his face with the shopping bag.

Godwin's family described him as a good man, while also forgiving Stephens for the shooting.

Stephens could be heard saying in another video posted to his now-deactivated Facebook page that he killed several other people, although police said there was no evidence to support those claims.

In one video posted on Facebook, Stephens said that he gambled away everything and that he and his girlfriend had planned to marry but did not, without saying why.

In the video of the shooting, Stephens told Godwin the name of his girlfriend and said, "She's the reason that this is about to happen to you." Godwin did not seem to recognize the name.

The woman Stephens spoke of, Joy Lane, said in a text message to CBS that "we had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened."

Godwin was a retiree who was collecting aluminum cans on the side of the road when he was approached by Stephens.


This story will be updated. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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