Cleveland Major Frank Jackson recently shared his thoughts during a press conference regarding Steve Stephens. According to Jackson, Stephens should cease his heinous operations now, because “[they] know who he is, and he will eventually be caught.” The Cleveland mayor added that Stephens needs to turn himself in and seek help for his situation. There are clergymen who are available to give him the help that he needs, especially from the information that Stephens shared of why he committed the crime on Facebook Live at around 2 p.m. eastern time. Driving a white Ford Fusion with 30-day tags, Stephens drove up to an 74-year-old Robert Godwin, Sr., who was talking a walk after having Easter dinner with his family, and killed him in cold blood.
Media update on shooting suspect Steve Stephens https://t.co/FTTPJW3X44
— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) April 16, 2017
An off-camera interview of an eyewitness who called 911 stated that Stephens was holding his phone, but she did not understand the motive of what he was doing. She added that she thought what she heard was a firecracker, but ended up seeing the victim lying in blood. Her demeanor was said to be very “broken up,” according to Cleveland 19 via Facebook.
According to Stephens, he has killed 13 people, and is heading for a 14th until he receives notification from his mother and another female. As of now, one murder has been confirmed. The victim’s family stated that he was a very good guy, and are severely troubled by the incident. The Cleveland police department explained in the press conference that everyone in Cleveland should be vigilant and watchful, as well as notify the authorities with any leads. It has been advised to refrain from talking to Stephens if there is any interaction with him, because he is believed to be armed and extremely dangerous.
Shockingly, Cleveland has yet to enforce a lockdown on the city while they are hunting down Stephens, although they do have a helicopter circling around to hopefully reduce the time of finding him. From the press conference and the news, the admonition is that there should be no more bloodshed, and the suspect will be offered spiritual and behavioral care once he turns himself in.
From a phone conversation with a former employee of Cleveland 19, who stated that he knows Stephens, he was a case manager of a Cleveland clinic and does not have any history of alarming any colleagues that this would ever happen.
The mayor and police chief stated that they have checked several locations where Stephens may have inflicted fatal harm, but have found nothing yet, which creates doubt that these actually occurred. Social media has been very supportive to the family of the victim, and the city of Cleveland, in general.
— Nina Harrelson ???? (@NinaHarrelsonTV) April 16, 2017
Psychologist Dr. Deborah Koricke stated that social media has become, unfortunately, an outlet for people to share their cringeworthy thoughts and actions of harm. In the Stephens case, Koricke stated that he is clearly trying to show a sense of power over the city by broadcasting it on Facebook. She feels that the police department handled the press conference perfectly by taking a softer approach, as she believes that a more demanding approach would have created a backlash. Koricke stated that Stephens does not seem like he knew the victim at all, and he showed that the video was for the purpose of showing his anger, as well as a sense of empowerment.
At this point, the hope is that there is police protection over the person who Stephens named, which has been revealed to be his girlfriend, according to information received by Stephens’ mother to CNN. Especially, since he is still on the run. It has been a number of hours since the murder, and there have been no reported sightings since the incident. Both Cleveland State and Case Western University have been notified to stay inside. As of 7:47 p.m. eastern time, Cleveland State has removed their lockdown.
8:17 p.m. – Chris Tanaka of Cleveland 19 has just shared the temporary tag number of Steve Stephens’ Ford Fusion.
Temporary tag of Steve Stephens vehicle:
E363630. White ford fusion.@cleveland19news
— Chris Tanaka (@Chris_Tanaka) April 17, 2017
9:00 a.m., 4/17/17 – Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams stated that there have been a number of leads throughout Sunday evening, but to no avail. He encouraged people to stay vigilant, and call the office if they want to know accurate details.
Media Update Steve Stephens Facebook Shooter Investigation Status https://t.co/ib76GBfHVa
— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) April 17, 2017
[Featured Image Tony Dejak/AP Images]