LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The so called "Facebook Live" killer shot and killed himself after a police pursuit in Pennsylvania Tuesday morning, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.
"Steve Stephens was spotted this morning by PSP members in Erie County," the Pennsylvania State Police wrote in a statement published on Twitter. "After a brief pursuit, Stephens shot and killed himself."
Steve Stephens was spotted this morning by PSP members in Erie County. After a brief pursuit, Stephens shot and killed himself.— PA State Police (@PAStatePolice) April 18, 2017
Until Tuesday morning, the nationwide manhunt for Steve Stephens had led to a series of dead ends, forcing authorities to scour abandoned buildings and plead for the public's help in turning in the murder suspect.
Stephens, 37, was wanted for the death of Robert Godwin -- a self-taught mechanic and grandfather of 14 who was shot while walking home from an Easter meal Sunday in Cleveland. Video of the killing was posted on Facebook.
During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, held less than an hour after Stephens' reported death, authorities confirmed the reports by Pennsylvania State Police.
"We have closure in regards to the search for Steve Stephens," Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said.
Calvin D. Williams, chief of the Cleveland Police Department, appeared somber.
"I want to officially announce that the search for Steve Stephens has ended," he said.
Williams went on to describe how Pennsylvania State Police troopers discovered a white Ford Fusion in the parking lot of a McDonald's in Erie Pennsylvania. The vehicle then took off, and according to Williams, Stephens shot himself as officers approached. Williams said Stephens died at the scene.
"We are grateful that this has ended," Williams said, though he added that he wishes it had ended differently. He said authorities wished to talk to Stephens to discover his motives for the murder.
"This started with one tragedy and ended with another person taking their own life," Williams said, adding that, "a loss of life is a loss of life."
Williams urged individuals who are struggling with mental or psychological issues to seek treatment.
He pointed out that the victim's family has said publicly that they have forgiven Stephens.
"We need to follow their lead," he said.
When questioned about whether or not he believed Stephens' actions would inspire copycat killings, Williams chafed.
"We're not even putting that energy out there."
He added that people should not be living their lives on social media, and that, "We can't do this in this country. We just can't do it."
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