Childhood friend of Cleveland Facebook shooting suspect says she didn't believe what she was seeing

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A woman who grew up with the man accused of uploading video of a fatal shooting to Facebook this past weekend says, at first, she thought it was a prank.

The suspect, Steve Stephens, is accused of shooting and killing 74-year-old Robert Godwin in the video.

Cleveland 19 went Monday to the home where Stephens grew up. News crews were initially blocked from East 85th Street as well as the home, but Cleveland police eventually allowed crews onto the street.

They were not allowed to go up to Stephens' family home, however. His childhood home is less than two miles from where Godwin was killed.

Alexis Lee grew up next door to Stephens and says he is a nice guy. More than 24 hours since he disappeared, she's still in shock.

"It's just unbelievable you can't believe this. He is just not that type of person," said Lee.

She said she didn't believe what she was seeing on Sunday.

"When I heard it I thought it was a prank you know what I'm saying, and then when I saw the video or whatever and he was going live I was just so shocked I was just so stunned," said Lee.

Stephens is accused of killing Godwin near the intersection of St. Clair and E 93rd, and posting the video on Facebook. Police Chief Calvin Williams said in an afternoon press conference that Godwin's murder was definitely personal and that it has traumatized the community.

"I never saw him fight anybody. I never saw him get mad at anybody, never ever. I think that he just wanted to reach out to his family. He just wanted somebody to call and talk to him he was just going through something," said Lee. "I'm just wishing and hoping and praying that he didn't commit suicide, that's he's not dead somewhere and don't nobody even know it that he didn't kill himself."

Lee said she also thinks this should be a referendum on Facebook live.

"They should shut it down I just think they should just shut it down. I don't know this is just so unbelievable," said Lee.

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