Videos Stephens shared on Facebook show him talking about his despair over gambling debts and trouble with his girlfriend.
The US man wanted for killing Godwin in OH and then posting a video of the murder on Facebook fatally shot himself Tuesday after a brief pursuit in neighboring Pennsylvania, police said. State police had been following the vehicle as it headed west into Erie after leaving a nearby McDonald's. Pennsylvania State Police said Stephens, the suspect in the random killing of a Cleveland retiree posted on Facebook, shot and killed.
Police were starting to get out of their cars when "I heard a shot".
That victim was 74-year-old Robert Godwin Jr, father of 10 and grandfather of 16. The Ford Fusion did a half-turn and came to rest at the curb.
A nationwide manhunt is underway for a man suspected of murdering an elderly Cleveland man on Easter Sunday and uploading video of the alleged crime to Facebook.
Police say Godwin is the only known victim.
Police expressed regret that Stephens had taken his own life. The auto, pointed west, stopped in the westbound lane of Buffalo Road, across from a former elementary school and police quickly blocked the entire area.
Cleveland P. D.'s Williams confirmed that a cellphone ping from Erie had been noted earlier during the manhunt, but he was not aware why the suspect was in the Erie area.
The chilling video was on Facebook for three hours before it was taken down, drawing criticism of the social network and renewing questions about how responsibly it polices objectionable material.
She said she tried to reach him after the video was posted on Facebook but he never answered his phone. A few minutes later, Stephens went live, confessing to the killing.
"People in social media know the power and the harm it can do", Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said at the press conference, referring to the Facebook video of the killing that was online for almost two hours before it was taken down.
Zuckerberg said Facebook is launching a review for reporting harmful content.
The Godwin family, however, doesn't blame her for the tragic incident.
"There are so many ways that this could be preventable, like teaching people how to regulate their emotions, how to deal with distress, how to even stop a negative thought in its tracks, which then leads to feeling better and could prevent something like this from happening", said Barbash. Period", Williams said. "And our kids, although they should not have seen this, a lot probably have.
St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez is facing a charge of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of intentional discharge of a risky weapon in that case.
Other violent events have been live-streamed on Facebook in the past, including a triple shooting in Norfolk, Virginia, in 2016.
"Like any social media, it depends on the person behind the screen", observed Tina Meier, executive director of the Megan Meier Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on cyberbullying and harassment.
"The hashtags Joy Lane, Joy Lane massacre, I don't even know who Joy Lane is anymore, or how to pick up all the pieces of my world at this moment", she said.
According to Raymond Surette, a criminal justice professor at the University of Central Florida, this sort of "performance crime" is growing because social media makes it so easy to send a statement to a small, targeted audience. But he says they are responsible for taking them down as soon as possible, which he says Facebook did in this case.
David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey.
"As commentators have noted, there are precedents - mercifully infrequent", he told the E-Commerce Times. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain's New York Business and The New York Times.