“Facebook Killer” kills himself after being caught in Erie

National manhunt comes to an end as victim’s family prepares funeral

Steve Stephens, who went viral as “The Facebook Killer” and had a national manhunt after him, committed suicide after being pursued by police in Pennsylvania. He was spotted by Erie County police at a McDonald’s parking lot, who made a brief pursuit of his Ford Fusion before Stephens shot and killed himself.

Stephens was on the run after he posted video on Facebook in which he was filmed coming up to Cleveland mechanic Robert Godwin and killing him in cold blood, without any obvious motivation. Maggie Green, Stephens’ mother, says that he was informed by Stephens in a Saturday face-to-face that “this was the last time I was going to see him.” Later, Stephens called Green to admit he was killing “people” because he was “mad with his girlfriend”; it is still unconfirmed by police if Stephens indeed committed other murders besides the crime he posted on Facebook. The girlfriend has not been identified by police, but she has spoken to CBS News and told people that “Steve really is a nice guy… He is generous with everyone he knows. He was kind and loving to me and my children.”

One of Godwin’s daughters, Brenda Haymon, found out Stephens’ life was over during funeral arrangements for Godwin. It seems that Haymon is still recovering from the heinous crime, as she told CNN upon hearing the news, “All I can say is that I wish he had gone down in a hail of one hundred bullets. I wish it had gone down like that instead of him shooting himself.” In a stark contrast, Tonya Godwin Baines took it upon herself to voice the more tempered feelings of other Godwin children: “Each one of us forgives the killer, the murderer.” They cited the elder Godwin’s teachings of loving God and the importance of forgiveness in that process.

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