An urgent manhunt is underway for a suspect who killed an elderly stranger live on Facebook.
Cleveland police are looking for Steve Stephens, 37, who they say committed the heinous act on the social media platform at around 3 p.m. local time on Easter Sunday (April 16).
“We need Steve to turn himself in,” Police Chief Calvin Williams said at a press conference. “Right now there are two families out there hurting. (The victim’s) family and of course there are people out there who care about Steve and want to see this not go any further.
Williams added, “We’ve brought everything to bear on this, from our federal partners, our state and local partners. And everybody is out there looking for Steve. We want this to end with as much peace as we can bring to this right now. … What happened today is senseless.
Mayor Frank Jackson spoke directly to Stephens and asked that he turn himself into authorities.
“We want to communicate to him that we know who he is and that he will eventually be caught,” Jackson said. “He need not do any more harm to anybody, any innocent people. Whatever concerns or problems that he’s having we’re here to have a conversation with him.”
The Plain Dealer reported that the shooting occurred on East 93 Street south of Interstate in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood.
In the graphic footage, Stephens is seen driving around in search of a victim to shoot. He pulls up to an elderly man in his car and says: “Finally found somebody I’m going to kill, I’m going to go kill this old dude.”
He proceeds to exit his car and walks up to the older gentleman. In the seconds before he shoots the man, he demands that he says the name “Joy Lane.” The elderly man obliges at which Stephens says she’s the reason “all of
this is about to happen to you.” Stephens then asks the elderly man his age before he lifts his gun and shoots the man in the head.
The video shows the man on the ground, bleeding as Stephens walks back to his vehicle, and drives off. Family members have identified the victim as their 78-year-old father.
“He’s good guy. He’d give you the shirt off his back,” his son told reporters. “This man right here was a good man. I hate he’s gone. It’s not real.”
The video was on Facebook for several hours before it was removed. Stephens’ Facebook page has also been deactivated.
Before Stephens’ Facebook page was taken down, he uploaded several videos about his alleged murderous spree.
In one video, he tells a man over the phone that he has “snapped” and has a “lot of built in anger and frustration.”
“I snapped, dog, I just snapped,” he says, adding that he has brought shame to his fraternity. “I just killed 13 [expletive] man. That’s what I did, I killed 13 people and I’m about to keep killing until they catch me. [expletive] it.”
In another video, Stephens says, “The people I’m going to kill today, it’s Easter Sunday, it’s not my first. I’ve got a few people that’s over here off this street … it’s an abandoned house, I kind of lost count. I didn’t keep score. But I’m going to keep score today. I’m bout to have me some fun, I guess.”
Stephens also says he is going to randomly shoot “Greeks” in the head. Greeks are believed to be members of his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi.
In another video, he tells the camera, “I’m 37 and all my [expletive] life I’ve just always been a [expletive] monster, man. Always had to prove myself, always had to take the butts of people’s jokes.”
“I’m killing [expletive], all because of this bitch… She’s putting me at my pushing point,” he says. “I was living over there with her, I woke up Friday and I just couldn’t take it anymore, I just left. Here I am, massacring [expletive]. Today is the Easter Day Joy Lane massacre.”
In another video, Stephens blames Lane, who is believed be his former girlfriend, for the shootings.
“Easter day slaughter because of joy lane, and I killed 12 people and I won’t stop unit my mother and joy lane call me,” he said in the since-deleted video. Stephens says Lane “drove me crazy” and the two were supposed to have wed.
Stephens also blamed his mother, Maggie Green, for his horrific actions. According to Stephens, he told his mother that he was feeling suicidal and homicidal and she did nothing.
“Didn’t care, it don’t matter, people would come to me with their problems, I would deal with my problems everyday,” Stephens says. “But when it comes to my problems, nobody gives a f*ck. It’s like I’m always the bad guy, no matter what the [expletive] I do, people always making it out on me…. Innocent people about to die today. Hopefully I’m going to try and kill as many people as I can and be on death row or whatever the case may be. I just don’t give a [expletive] no more. I’m beat, I’m tired, you know.”
Green spoke to CNN and said she has been in contact with since the Facebook posts were uploaded. She also said she is devastated and in disbelief over her son’s actions.
According to Green, Stephens is “mad with his girlfriend that’s why he is shooting people and he won’t stop until his mother or girlfriend tell him to stop.”
In one post, Stephens wrote that he has reached his breaking point having had a tumultuous past year.
“I lost everything I ever had due to gambling,” he wrote. “I do not go into details but I’m a (sic) my breaking point I’m really on some murder shit. … FB you have 4 minutes to tell me why I shouldn’t be on death row!!! I’m dead serious. #teamdeathrow.”
Stephens was last seen in white or cream-colored Ford Fusion with temporary tags and he is considered armed and dangerous. He is a Black male, 6ft, weighing 240 lbs, bald with a full beard and was last seen wearing a dark blue, and gray or black striped polo shirt.
Investigators have yet to verify Stephens’ claims that he killed multiple people.