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Suspect in Facebook murder kills self in Pennsylvania, say cops

LiveMint logoLiveMint 18-04-2017 Brendan O’Brien

Milwaukee/New York: The man who the police claimed had posted a video of himself killing an elderly man on Facebook shot and killed himself after a “brief pursuit” by Pennsylvania state police officers on Tuesday, police said.

Steve Stephens was accused of shooting Robert Godwin Sr, 74, on a Cleveland sidewalk on Sunday before fleeing in a car and uploading a video of the murder on Facebook, becoming the subject of a nationwide manhunt.

Pennsylvania state police said that officers saw Stephens in Erie County on Tuesday morning. “After a brief pursuit, Stephens shot and killed himself,” the police said on Twitter, providing no further details.

Stephens, who had no prior criminal record, was not suspected in any other killings, Cleveland officials had said.

The shooting marked the latest video clip of a violent crime to turn up on Facebook, raising questions about how the world’s biggest social media network moderates content.

The company on Monday said it would review how it monitors violent footage and other objectionable material in response to the killing. The shooting video was visible on Facebook for nearly two hours before it was reported, the company said.

Stephens is not believed to have known Godwin, a retired foundry worker who media reports said spent Easter Sunday morning with his son and daughter-in-law before he was killed.

In interviews before Stephens’ death, Godwin’s relatives said they had forgiven his killer.

“I forgive him because we are all sinners,” Robby Miller, Godwin’s son, said in an interview with CNN. Reuters

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