Cleveland Facebook murder: Details on manhunt, accused killer's death

Steve Stephens, the suspect accused of killing a man and posting a video of the crime on Facebook, shot and killed him after a brief pursuit.
7:39 | 04/19/17

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Transcript for Cleveland Facebook murder: Details on manhunt, accused killer's death
Good evening. We begin with a bloody ending to a mystifying and horrifying story involving a murder that played out on a video posted on Facebook. The suspect recording on his phone as he shot and killed an elderly man right on the street. The case is raising all sorts of questions about crime in the era of social media. Looks like there's one guy down in the white car. Reporter: The two-day nationwide manhunt for 37-year-old murder suspect Steve Stevens is finally over after he took his own life late this money. This started with one tragedy and ended with another person taking their own life. Loss of life is loss of life. We would like to have brought Steven peacefully and really talked to him to find out exactly why this happened. I'm at the point where I snapped. Reporter: Stevens on the run after posting this chilling video to his Facebook page on Easter Sunday. Find me somebody I'm going to kill, kill this guy right here, old dude. Reporter: He recorded himself randomly killing 74-year-old Robert Godwin senior in cold blood on a sidewalk in Cleveland. How old are you? Oh, man -- look -- Reporter: 911 calls from a neighbor witness described the chaotic aftermath. Where was he shot at? He's been shot in the head. Is he awake at all? No, I don't -- he's unconscious, he's dead. Reporter: Police made phone contact with Stevens Sunday but weren't able to convince him to turn himself in. Stevens' trail went cold shortly thereafter, leaving much of the country on edge. This individual is armed and dangerous and at this point heck be a lot of places. Cases like this where there's a national search and leads have dried up, the public is part of solving the crime. Reporter: The key to finding Stevens today, a call to 911 from drive-through employees at a McDonald's in Erie, Pennsylvania, where Stevens' cell phone had pinged a tower on Sunday. Came through drive-through, placed an order, got to the first window where he paid. The drive-through employee that was working at the time recognized him or thought -- noticed that the car was Ohio tags and it was a white fusion. And took his money and he pulled to the next window. Meanwhile she stepped out of there and called the state police right away. Reporter: Employees then asked Stevens to wait for his fries, which they deliberately held back in order to give law enforcement time to arrive. He didn't want to wait for the fries which was fine. But he took his six-piece, didn't want any money back, and headed out onto Buffalo road. The minute he turned right on Buffalo road, the state police right behind him at that point. Losing him wasn't an option at this point, there was too much at stake. Reporter: A short pursuit followed with Pennsylvania state troopers bringing Stevens' car to a stop. At that time Stevens used a handgun to take his own life. Reporter: For the family of the victim, a grandfather of 14, Stevens' death offers little comfort. It still ain't making me feel no better because he took himself out like a coward. No closure for me and my babies. Reporter: This senseless killing raises real questions about the role and responsibility of social media in potentially glorifying acts of violence. This is something that should not have been shared around the world. Period. Reporter: Stevens' graphic video remained on his Facebook page for more than two hours, viewed by more than 1,000 people, before his account was disabled. Today the CEO of Facebook, mark Zuckerberg, acknowledged his company needs to do better. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Robert Godwin senior. We will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening. Reporter: Stevens' murder video was part of a series of rants he posted on his Facebook page Sunday morning. I deal with problems every day but when it comes to my Nobody gives a . Reporter: He came he was on a killing spree. I killed 13, working on 14 as we speak. I'm running around hating , man. I just snapped, man. Reporter: Stevens is not the first to post himself committing a violent crime on social media. Earlier this year, aacebook live video in Chicago captured the beating of an 18-year-old with special needs for nearly 30 minutes. In that case, Facebook removed the video and the four suspects were charged with committing a hate crime, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery. We got a busted taillight in the back -- Reporter: Last summer a Facebook live video of philando Castille dying after being shot by a police officer while disturbing, also cast a powerful spotlight on police traffic stops and racial justice. He just shot his arm off. Reporter: Ska steel's girlfriend, diamond Reynolds, kept streaming, providing possible evidence in upcoming trial of the officer who pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter. He's licensed to carry. He was trying to get out his I.D. And his wallet out of his pocket. I chose to allow the video to go live ten seconds before my phone died, because I wanted everybody in the world to see what the police do and how they roll and it's not right. Reporter: In response to the Steve Stevens video Facebook said they are reviewing their reporting flows to be sure people can report videos and other material that violates our standards as easily and quickly as possible. And that they're constantly exploring ways that new technologies can make them sure that Facebook is a safe environment, including artificial intelligence. A couple of minutes on the internet now of a video can go viral, because it can be copied and shared widely in a number of different places. So these companies have a real reason to want to make sure it's not there in the first place. Reporter: Brian Godwin, grandson of Steve Stevens' victim, pleaded with people on Twitter to stop spreading the horrific video saying, please, please, please stop retweeting that individvideo and report anyone who has posted it, that is my grandfather, show some respect. That plea a reminder just as law enforcement relied on the public to report any information about Stevens' whereabouts, so too do social media companies rely on users to spot trouble online. We rely on the public to report and to participate in ensuring that our communities are safe. So we want to encourage people who are interacting on Facebook to report inappropriate conduct. Reporter: Tonight, law enforcement continues its investigation into Steve Stevens, who worked at a facility that helps troubled youth. The person that I knew 15 years ago, I could not imagine killing someone for any other reason other than like in self-defense or something like that. Reporter: He had documented happier times on his YouTube account over the past year and a half, including bowling, fishing, the championship victory of his hometown Cleveland cavaliers. We did it, baby, number one! A Normal, average guy. Graduated from school. Had stable employment. This is a surprise. Reporter: So far, the claims Stevens made about killing several other people have not been verified by law enforcement. Meanwhile, Robert Godwin's friends and family are paying tribute to him, telling my colleague ABC's Alex Perez -- It's my dad's invoice. Reporter: That they are heartbroken over their loss. He'd give you the shirt off his back. Just to know that I will never, ever hear my father's voice again. Devastating. You can't get any wronger than taking somebody's life. But my dad would be the kind of person that would say, you've got to forgive. You've got to forgive. Next here on a different

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