Police Radio Dispatches Reveal Final Moments of Facebook Killer Hunt That Ended With His Suicide
Steve Stephens was recognized by a McDonald's drive-thru worker when he stopped to buy some Chicken McNuggets.
The nationwide manhunt for the man who killed a complete stranger before posting video of the murder to Facebook ended Tuesday with the suspect taking his own life behind the wheel of his car.
Police radio dispatches reveal how Pennsylvania State Police were following Steve Stephens' white Ford Fusion in Erie, Pa.
"Update us just in case we can put spikes down," one voice says on the dispatch.
Moments later, he added: "Looks like there's one guy down in the white car."
Then: "He was in pursuit of the homicide suspect. I believe he shot himself."
The pursuit came after Stephens was spotted at a McDonald's in Erie, where workers reported that Stephens came to the drive-thru and ordered 20 chicken nuggets and a basket of fries.
A McDonald's worker reportedly recognized Stephens and called 911.
"He got to the second window of the drive-thru," said the owner, Thomas DuCharme, Jr. "We told him we were waiting on his fries for a minute just to buy some time for the cops if it actually was him. He said he had no time to wait, he had to go. At that point he took his Chicken McNuggets and left."
But police weren't far behind.
"A little after 11 today, Pennsylvania State Police officers received a tip that the vehicle that we were looking for was in a McDonald's parking lot near Erie," said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams at a press conference Tuesday. "Those officers responded, the vehicle fled from that area, there was a short pursuit in which the vehicle was stopped, and as the officers approached he took his own life."
Citizens and police in Erie had been on high alert after a ping from Stephens' cell phone was detected there Sunday. It was about 100 miles from Cleveland, where he fatally shot a stranger, 74-year-old Robert Godwin, Sr, in the street in broad daylight on Sunday.
Incredibly, two of the victim's daughters said they forgive their father's killer.
"I love him and I forgive him. I forgive him," Tonya Godwin Baines said.
But the women are still devastated by their loss.
Debbie Godwin added: "It's bad enough that you kill him but you record the killing on Facebook? How cruel is that? How cruel can you be?"
The murder was later posted to the social media site by the killer, who was said to be distraught over a break-up with his girlfriend. The video remained on the social network for about two hours before it was taken down.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the murder at the site's annual developers conference Tuesday.
"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Robert Godwin, Sr.," he said. "We have a lot of work and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening."
Trending on Inside Edition
Michigan Man Discovers 160 Bowling Balls During Home Renovation ProjectOffbeat
Authorities Probe Whether Beloved Peacock Was Shot to Death by Someone Hired Through Craigslist AdAnimals
2-Year-Old Farm Girl From Ohio Is Constantly Followed by an Army of ChickensAnimals
Samuel Olson Told His Grandma His Dad and Theresa Balboa 'Were Mean.' It Was the Last Time She Saw Him Alive.Crime
Despite New York Times Reporting, Inside Edition Investigation Finds Subway's Tuna Sandwiches Contain TunaInvestigative