Cleveland manhunt underway after video of murder uploaded to Facebook

A Cleveland man is at large after reportedly killing someone and uploading the footage to Facebook. The video appears to show a man identified by police as 37-year-old Steve Stephens approaching a 74-year-old man, before asking him to say a name and shooting him in the head. Some time after the murder, Stephens also began broadcasting on Facebook Live. The video and broadcast were among multiple Facebook posts made by Stephens on Sunday afternoon, in which he claimed to have killed up to 15 people as part of an “Easter Day slaughter.”

Stephens posted the updates to Facebook while he was driving around Cleveland, apparently searching for victims. In the clips, Stephens said that he “snapped,” and claimed to have killed multiple victims. In one update, seemingly posted before he shot 74-year-old Robert Goodwin Sr., he wrote that he killed 13 people and was “working on 14.” In another, he claimed he had killed 15 people and that several bodies would be found in an abandoned house. Police have so far confirmed that Stephens had killed one victim in a residential area on East 93rd Street, and that he has not yet been apprehended.

Facebook has removed the video and Stephens’ account, but it took the company several hours to take them down after Stephens started his attack at around 2PM local time. "This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook," a company spokesperson said in a statement to BuzzFeed. "We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety.”

It’s not clear whether Facebook acted on its own to remove the posts, or reacted to requests from local law enforcement officials to take them down. The company has come under fire for its Facebook moderation policies in the past, both for lax standards that allow almost anything to be broadcast on Facebook Live, and for its heavy-handedness in taking down streams that may provide evidence of questionable police tactics or brutality.

A particularly contentious example of the latter came last year, when Facebook and Instagram granted an emergency request from the Baltimore Police Department to suspend the accounts of 23-year-old Korryn Gaines. Gaines was in a standoff with police at the time, and had been posting live videos of her experience, taken while barricaded inside her home with her 5-year-old son. She was shot and killed by police a short time after her accounts were deleted from the social media services.

Goodwin Sr., who appears to have been chosen at random by Stephens during his stream (and has been reported as both 74 and 78 years old), was described as a man who would “give you the shirt off his back” by family members. Police say that Stephens is driving a white vehicle, should be considered armed and dangerous, and warn that if seen, he should not be approached.

Update April 17th, 1AM ET: Confirmed that Stephens did not broadcast the shooting itself on Facebook Live, but uploaded a video of the murder shortly after the act was committed. He then started streaming on Facebook Live some time later, apparently from his car.

Comments

Hey America, get rid of your guns eh. Or at least make them more annoying to get.

That’s the cost of freedom unfortunately.

I can’t tell if this is sarcasm or not.

Apparently I’ve never known freedom because I don’t live in a country that lets almost anyone easily acquire a gun.

Exactly. I’ve never understood that argument, such nonsense.

I hope BlownSpeaker remains as idealistic and understanding if a tragedy such as this should befall his family.

Well if you know the history of the United States and why the right to bear arms is number 2 on our Constitution then you will understand why guns are very important to some citizen. I don’t agree with the needs for everyone to have weapons, but there is no way to put the genie back into the bottle.

Its a serious conundrum as different parts of the country feel different and a consensus will never be found cause no one want to compromise

Many people simply want common sense gun control laws that don’t remove the average person’s right to own but also work to keep guns out of the hands of people who definitely shouldn’t have them.

Sounds like a compromise to me, and a lot of people want it.

Of course, there are a lot of people who hear that and immediately think that "gun control" equals "gun ban."

Just wondering… Where do the most homicides happen in the USA? In areas with gun control or areas where there is almost no gun restrictions?
Are guns the problem or is the USA people/couture?

Gun violence can happen anywhere, but mostly in the inner cities.

Also, there is Gun control and it varies from state to state. Most northeastern states*(Maryland- Maine) and and some western states (California – Washington) have very strict gun control laws (I might be off about Oregon & Washington). while primarily southern & mid western states have very weak gun control. These states typically have a hunting background and most grow up with guns being in the family.

Honestly, its a complex issue. Being from one of the inner cities I’ve seen the devastation of gun violence, but most criminals come by there weapons illegally. Typically, brought from a Southern state and transported to my State for re-sale

I’m all for gun control, but against banning weapons all together.

You bring up another interesting question, what’s the ratio of legal vs illegal guns used when it comes to murders?
If guns get "banned/controlled" in Texas they will come from Mexico as you can see with drugs. Prohibition doesn’t work.

If most criminals come to posses the gun illegally anyways, gun control only makes it less likely for good people to be armed and be able to defend themselves, or am I missing something?

That’s the crux of the issue. Banning or regulating won’t solve the issues as the US has a very ingrained gun culture and as you correctly surmised most criminals don’t buy weapons legally. So strict regulations only hurt law abiding citizens.

I’m all for gun control as I see no reason for anyone to own a automatic or semi-automatic assault weapon, but hunting rifles should be allowed.

If that’s the case you will you try to persuade the manufacturers to stop producing them? Classify them as chemical weapons?

It’s 2017 and you Americans are still debating about gun control… that’s ridiculous.

If most criminals come to posses the gun illegally anyways, gun control only makes it less likely for good people to be armed and be able to defend themselves, or am I missing something?

That’s actually not true at all. Sensible gun control doesn’t take guns out of law-abiding citizens hands at all – or does it make acquiring a firearm more difficult. What it does (depending on it’s particular details, I’m not speaking about one particular plan) is provide a screening process so dangerous, troubled or disturbed citizens cannot easily walk into a shop and just buy one because they are agitated about something. Or buy over the internet and across state lines and gun shows (where many time no check or even a record of transactions are even kept).

The idea that any conversation about gun bans (on particular types of guns) or gun control equates to it being " less likely for good people to be armed and be able to defend themselves" is a straw man argument that prevents thoughtful and rational laws that don’t hurt ordinary, law abiding citizens. There have been numerous bills introduced that would not threaten the majority of gun owners in the least and only would have really effected high caliber, high capacity firearms. Hunters and "for protection" gun owners would be largely unaffected. As long as the scare tactic of "good people won’t be able to protect themselves" gets used, the whole conversation shuts down and more of this will continue.

How many guns have you bought?

Myself? One. I have many friends who are hunters and they have quite a few amongst them.

What does that matter? More guns doesn’t make you more safe.

No, I ask because I would like to know where you get them without any kind of background checkout? Be specific, please.

I had a background check, to be clear, as my purchase was from a local gun shop.

Gun shows. Under federal law, private-party sellers are not required to perform background checks on buyers, whether at a gun show or other venue… even if the seller exclusively sells at gun shows.

Was that not the reply you were looking for?

You do know that people don’t live in a bubble, right? People who live in an area with strict gun control laws can go somewhere else where the laws aren’t so strict.

However, it’s a complicated situation. There are already so many guns out there so the black market supply won’t be hurting anytime soon.

What are you arguing for? A dictator to take over the world and ban guns worldwide?

He would sure need a lot of guns to do that.

So does that constitution grant me the right to have my own nuclear missile in my backyard?

Go read some Supreme Court cases about this. It’s been covered.

lol, is this a joke? Do you even understand the point he’s getting at?

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