During a press conference held at 3:15 p.m. ET, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Police Chief Calvin D. Williams offered some new information regarding the Steve Stephens manhunt.
According to Jackson, a reward of up to $50,000 is now being offered for the arrest of Steve Stephens, and the authorities are aggressively pursuing the suspect.
Chief Williams asked Stephens to “turn himself in,” or to “contact a relative or friend” with the intent of resolving this peacefully. He added that the scope of the hunt has broadened significantly, saying: “This is what we would consider a national search.”
However, when a reporter asked if there was any evidence to suggest Stephens was no longer in Ohio, Williams simply said: “No.”
Another reporter asked if there was any reason to believe Stephens was still driving a white Ford Fusion, Williams responded:
“Right now, we don’t have any reason to believe that he’s not in that vehicle. When these things start to evolve, and people maybe switch vehicles…he’s not gonna go out and buy a vehicle. Usually, there is some kind of crime involved in securing a new vehicle – and we haven’t had any reports like that so far.”
Williams added that there’s “no truth” to the rumor that Stephens was spotted in Philadelphia.
[END OF UPDATE]
Sunday afternoon, a Cleveland, Ohio, man identified as Steve Stephens, recorded himself getting out of his vehicle and shooting an elderly man in the head. He then uploaded the heinous footage to Facebook.
The victim has been identified as 74-year-old Robert Godwin, Sr.
As The Daily Wire previously reported:
The video shows Stephens in his vehicle, saying: “[Found me] somebody I’m about to kill. Imma kill this guy right here.” He then gets out of his car, approaches Godwin, and says: “Hi. Can you do me a favor? Can you say [woman’s name]?'”
He asks the question again: “Can you say [woman’s name]?'” Godwin repeats the name, and Stephens replies: “Yeah, she’s the reason why all this [is] about to happen to you. How old are you?”
Stephens then shoots Godwin in the face, and gets back into his car.
The suspect allegedly claims to have killed at least 15 others, however, those deaths have yet to be verified. The footage from the shooting can be seen in its entirety here.
On Monday, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin D. Williams said “detectives initially made contact with Stephens via cell phone after the incident was posted, but they were unable to track him or convince him to come in,” according to ABC7 Chicago. Additionally, “police believe he’s left Ohio and may be in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana or Michigan. An aggravated murder warrant has been issued for him.”
Actual photo of Steve Stephens, homicide suspect’s, actual vehicle. Please call 9-1-1 if seen. Plate not yet available. pic.twitter.com/hn8a8nQEAP
— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) April 16, 2017
CNN reported a possible lead Monday when a cell phone “ping” was allegedly detected in Erie, Pennsylvania. However, the “Erie Police Department said Monday afternoon it had no knowledge of a ping emitted from its city.” CNN adds that Police Chief Williams “told reporters Monday he couldn’t speak to the report of a ping.”
According to NBC News, Steve Stephens is “black, 6 feet, 1 inch tall, weighing 244 pounds and bald with a full beard. He was last seen wearing a black or dark blue and gray striped polo shirt.” He was last known to be driving a “white Ford Fusion with [a] temp tag,” according to police.
The Cleveland Police Department tweeted: “If you see Steve Stephens, dial 9-1-1. If you have tips about the crime or his whereabouts please call the FBI tipline: 1-800-Call FBI.”
He is considered armed and dangerous.