CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The shooting suspect who fatally shot an innocent 74-year-old and then posted the video to his Facebook page remains on the run while leaving little trace behind. Law enforcement officials including Cleveland Police, US Marshals, and the FBI held a press conference Tuesday morning.
During the press conference, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson started by thanking the family of Robert Godwin, Sr., the victim of the shooting. He said "the Godwin family ought to be commended" for the way they handled the situation.
Cleveland Chief of Police Calvin Williams reiterated that the search is nationwide. Law enforcement officials have received approximately 400 tips from across the country, some from as far away as Texas. He also added that Stephens' Ford vehicle is not GPS-enabled. Chief Williams said, "Of course, that's the first thing we've looked at."
Steve Stephens randomly shot Godwin, Sr. along East 93rd Street on Sunday. He then posted a video of the shooting to his personal Facebook account. He also posted a Facebook Live video bragging about killing more than a dozen people and blaming his actions on his ex-girlfriend, his mother, debts, and more. Cleveland Police have not confirmed whether his claim of killing multiple people is true.
On Sunday night, a "ping" from Stephens' cell phone was detected near Erie, Pa. There have also been numerous sightings reported, but none of them have been confirmed. During the press conference, officials said that there have not been any hits on Stephens' license plates.
U.S. Marshal Pete Elliot said, "We are going to get this individual one way or another." He added, "Some have run for a couple of days. Some have run for a couple of years. Some have killed themselves after they ran."
People have been asked to remain vigilant in Ohio, as well as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, and New York. A local security expert says Stephens could be anywhere at this point in the investigation. According to the Washington Post, there were two false reports from people staying in a Washington, DC hotel. Baltimore Police even released a statement Tuesday morning about reported sightings.
A Willoughby gun range owner told the Associated Press that the suspect shot at his facility and has been warned before for breaking rules by practicing "rapid fire."
The FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals Service, and Crime Stoppers are offering a $50,000 reward for the arrest and prosecution of Steve Stephens. Anyone with information may contact the Cleveland Police Department or the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).
Description of Stephens
- He is described as a black man
- 6 foot 1, 244 pounds
- Bald with a full beard
- Wearing a dark blue and grey or black striped polo shirt
Description of the car
- White or cream-colored Ford Fusion
- Ohio temporary tag E363630