ERIE, Pa. — Steve Stephens, the Cleveland murder suspect accused of posting video of the slaying on Facebook, shot and killed himself Tuesday after he was spotted by police in Erie County, Pa., state police said.
A tipster spotted Steve Stephens’ vehicle in the parking lot of a McDonald’s near Erie, Pa., and called police, Pennsylvania State Police said.
Stephens fled, and state troopers started a pursuit. After two miles, a trooper performed a PIT maneuver — a strategic way of ramming a vehicle to disable it.
“As the vehicle was spinning out of control from the PIT maneuver, Stephens pulled a pistol and shot himself in the head,” Pennsylvania State Police said.
For two days, authorities across the country scrambled to find Stephens, the man wanted for the death of Robert Godwin — a self-taught mechanic and grandfather of 14.
“We’re grateful that this has ended,” Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams said. “We would prefer that it had not ended this way because there are a lot of questions, I’m sure, that not only the family but the city in general would have had for Steve.”
Godwin’s daughter Brenda Haymon learned of Stephens’ death as she was planning funeral arrangements for her father.
“All I can say is that I wish he had gone down in a hail of 100 bullets,” Haymon said. “I wish it had gone down like that instead of him shooting himself.”
Godwin, 74, was shot Sunday while walking home from an Easter meal with his children in Cleveland. Stephens later posted video of the elderly man’s death on Facebook.