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Facebook murder suspect Steve Stephens is dead. Pennsylvania State Police were "in pursuit of [a] white Ford Fusion" in Erie County Tuesday morning when the suspect shot himself, Fox 8's Nicholas A. Kovach reported. Shortly after, Pennsylvania State Police confirmed that Stephens had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Stephens, who was wanted on an aggravated murder charge in the death of 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr., was located by police in Erie County Tuesday morning. After attempting to pull Stephens over, the Associated Press reported, a brief pursuit was initiated before he shot and killed himself.
At a press conference Tuesday, Cleveland Police Department Chief Calvin Williams expressed gratitude for the person who called in a tip after noticing Stephens' white Ford Fusion in a McDonald's parking lot. "We are grateful to the people that gave this tip to the Pennsylvania State Police," Williams said. "We are grateful that this has ended. We would prefer that it had not ended this way, because there are a lot of questions, I'm sure, that not only the family but the city in general would have had for Steve as to why this transpired."
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf thanked police in a statement released shortly after Stephens' death was confirmed. "I am incredibly grateful to the Pennsylvania State police for their bravery and vigilance in spotting and pursuing 'Facebook Live Killer' Steve Stephens in Erie and acting without hesitation to keep others safe," Wolf said. "On behalf of all Pennsylvanians and Americans, I thank these state troopers, the entire State Police, and all law enforcement involved for their heroism in protecting their fellow citizens."
In the wake of Stephens' use of their platform to share footage of the shooting, Facebook issued a lengthy statement vowing to improve its content reporting methods. In the statement, released Monday, Facebook VP of Global Operations Justin Osofsky also provided a timeline of Stephens' activity and clarified that the shooting video was uploaded and not streamed live.
"On Sunday morning, a man in Cleveland posted a video of himself announcing his intent to commit murder, then two minutes later posted another video of himself shooting and killing an elderly man," Osofsky said. "A few minutes after that, he went live, confessing to the murder. It was a horrific crime — one that has no place on Facebook, and goes against our policies and everything we stand for."