Facebook murder suspect remains at large
as police ask public for help
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[April 18, 2017]
(Reuters) - A murder suspect who
police said posted a video of himself on Facebook shooting an elderly
man in Cleveland remained on the loose on Tuesday as authorities
appealed to the public for help in the case.
Police said they have received "dozens and dozens" of tips and possible
sightings of the suspect, Steve Stephens, and tried to persuade him to
turn himself in when they spoke with him via his cellphone on Sunday
after the shooting.
But Stephens remained at large as the search for him expanded
nationwide, police said.
The shooting marked the latest video clip of a violent crime to turn up
on Facebook, raising questions about how the world's biggest social
media network moderates content.
The company on Monday said it would begin reviewing how it monitors
violent footage and other objectionable material in response to the
Police said Stephens used Facebook Inc's service to post video of him
killing Robert Godwin Sr., 74.
Stephens is not believed to have known Godwin, a retired foundry worker
who media reports said spent Easter Sunday morning with his son and
daughter-in-law before he was killed.
"I want him to know what he took from us. He took our dad," Godwin's
daughter Tammy told CNN on Monday night. "My heart is broke."
During the same interview, his son Robby Miller said that he wanted the
shooter brought to justice and for his family to have closure.
"I forgive him because we are all sinners," he said. "If you are out
there, if you're listening, turn yourself in."
Facebook vice president Justin Osofsky said the company was reviewing
the procedure that users go through to report videos and other material
that violates the social media platform's standards. The shooting video
was visible on Facebook for nearly two hours before it was reported, the
[to top of second column]
Steve Stephens, who Cleveland Division of Police said was being
sought in connection with the killing of an individual, is seen in
an undated handout photo released April 16, 2017. Cleveland
Police/Handout via REUTERS
Stephens, who has no prior criminal record, is not suspected in any
other murders, police said.
The last confirmed sighting of Stephens was at the scene of the
homicide. Police said he might be driving a white or cream-colored
Ford Fusion, and asked anyone who spots him or his car to call
police or a special FBI hotline (800-CALLFBI).
(Writing by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee)
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