Steve Stephens, the Ohio man accused of killing a man in Cleveland and posting a video of the shooting on his Facebook account, has killed himself after a police chase in Pennsylvania, ending a nationwide manhunt. (more)
The incident began just after 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday when a worker at a McDonald's in Erie County realized that a customer in the drive-through was likely the man people were looking for. The employees tried to stall Stephens as they called 911.
Troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police immediately responded to the scene and spotted the suspect's vehicle as he left McDonald's, according to state police. A police pursuit ensued and lasted about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) as Stephens fled towards the city of Erie.
"The troopers attempted a PIT maneuver to disable Stephens’ vehicle, a white Ford Fusion. As the vehicle was spinning out of control from the PIT maneuver, Stephens pulled a pistol and shot himself in the head," state police said in a statement. Stephens was pronounced dead at the scene.
A patrol trooper involved with the pursuit could not stop in time and slid into Stephens’ vehicle, causing minor damage but no injuries to law enforcement.
Angela Small, the mother of two of the victim's children, said news of Stephens' death did not make her feel better. "I can't eat, I can't sleep. .. He killed himself. You took the coward's way out but you left my kids without a father," she told WOIO-TV.
Stephens was wanted in Sunday's murder of 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr., who was shot and killed as he walked on a sidewalk in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood. Stephens then uploaded a video of the shooting to his Facebook account.
In the video, Stephens blamed his ex-girlfriend for his actions and made Godwin repeat the woman's name after walking up to him, seemingly at random. "She's the reason why this is about to happen to you," Stevens told the victim before pulling out a gun and shooting him.
In other videos, Stevens claimed to have killed at least 13 people, but police have found no evidence to support this claim. He stated during his videos on Facebook that he wanted to kill as many people as possible, prompting a massive nationwide manhunt.