Agency Report

Police in Cleveland, Ohio said they believe the suspect, 37-year-old Steve Stephens, is armed and dangerous, and have alerted authorities in four neighboring states to be on the lookout for him  © AFP/File Loic VENANCE
Police in Cleveland, Ohio said they believe the suspect, 37-year-old Steve Stephens, is armed and dangerous, and have alerted authorities in four neighboring states to be on the lookout for him © AFP/File Loic VENANCE

US police on Monday widened a manhunt for a gunman who shot and killed an elderly man, and then posted a video of the seemingly random Easter Sunday attack on Facebook.

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Police in Cleveland, Ohio said they believe the suspect, 37-year-old Steve Stephens, is armed and dangerous.

Federal authorities offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to Stephens’s arrest.

Cleveland police on Monday alerted authorities in four nearby states — Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan — to be on the lookout for Stephens. Later in the day, they expanded their search nationwide.

“Our reach now is basically all over this country,” said Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams.

“This is what we would consider a national search.”

Robert Godwin Sr, 74, was shot and killed on Sunday, apparently at random, as he walked home after an Easter dinner, police and local media reported.

“We know that Steve is still out there someplace,” Williams said. “We don’t know his condition and, of course, right now we don’t know his location. We’re asking the public to remain vigilant.”

Police issued an arrest warrant for aggravated homicide against Stephens, described as a six-foot one-inch, 244-pound (1.85 m, 110-kilo) black man with a full beard who was last seen in a white Ford Fusion with temporary license plates.

Authorities said that they were assuming he was still with his vehicle more than 24 hours after the murder.

In a video uploaded to Stephens’s Facebook page, a man resembling him is seen exiting a vehicle and approaching his victim, who is shown with a gun to his head and then falling to the ground after a shot is fired.

“I killed 13, so I’m working on 14 as we speak,” the suspect says in a second video clip. “I’m just driving around hitting motherfuckers, man. I just snapped man, fuck.”

So far, however, police say they are aware of just one victim killed by Stephens.

AFP