Police warn of GoFundMe scams after Cleveland Facebook killing

Henrietta Brewer
April 18, 2017

They hugged and comforted each other, while urging an end to the violence on their city streets.

Facebook said the suspect did go live on the social media website at one point during the day, but not during the killing. Who is Steve Stephens?

Cleveland officials have also offered a $50,000 (£39,805) reward for information that leads to his location.

Cleveland's police chief said Monday that only Steve Stephens knows the answer. He was last seen wearing a striped polo shirt and was driving a white Ford Fusion with temporary license plates.

"If you see an account out there in the name of Mr. Godwin, at this time, do not contribute to that account", he said.

Mr Williams said that authorities had put out alerts "in the state of OH and beyond" over the "senseless" incident, and urged people not to approach the suspect, who he said was likely to remain armed and unsafe.

"What happened today is senseless", Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams said at a news conference.

(Cleveland Police via AP).


Stephens has claimed on Facebook to have killed at least 13 people, but police say they are only aware of one victim.

By Monday afternoon, reports surfaced that Philadelphia police had descended on Fairmount Park for an unconfirmed sighting of Stephens.

The announcement came after a video showing a killing was posted to Facebook on Sunday and remained there for more than two hours.

Officers are checking the area, and police say eight elementary schools and a high school are on lockdown as a precaution.

Thomas said gaining a national audience doesn't take much effort, but unfortunately she thinks it could motivate people to commit more crimes in the future.

Godwin's daughter said he was killed while collecting cans in a plastic shopping bag.

Stephens is accused of killing 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. He is "without a doubt" armed and unsafe, Williams said.

She went on to describe Stephens as having been "kind and loving to me and my children", adding, "This is a very hard time for me and my family".


Stephens worked at Beech Brook, a behavioral health agency headquartered in Pepper Pike, near Cleveland. He helped young people develop job skills and find employment, said Beech Brook spokeswoman Nancy Kortemeyer.

"He was an easy client to deal with", Binger said.

While Stephens had several motor vehicle violations, he had "no criminal record to speak of", according to Williams.

He shot dead 74-year-old Robert Godwin in OH as the victim walked home from Easter lunch on Sunday afternoon.

In the statement, Osofsky wrote that Facebook is working to ensure that users can report videos and other content "as easily and quickly as possible".

He said his father, a retired foundry worker, collected aluminum cans and was probably looking for cans when Stephens approached him. Lane said Monday she was "not sure" why he would have mentioned her.

Authorities are telling people in Cleveland, as well as Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and MI, to be on the lookout for the suspect, 37-year-old Steve Stephens.

Godwin was the father of 10 children - six girls and four boys.


According to its website, Beech Brook says it will serve more than 18,000 children and families in northeast OH this year.

Other reports by iNewsToday

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