Cleveland police held a news conference Wednesday confirming reports that Steve Stephens, the suspect believed to have shot an elderly man at random on Easter Sunday before posting a video of the killing on Facebook, has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Pennsylvania, as state police were in pursuit.
“I want to officially announce that the search for Stephen has ended,” said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin D. Williams said at the noon press conference Wednesday. Cleveland Police had given another news conference just a few hours earlier, with the indication they knew of the suspect’s whereabouts.
Update: Stephens was spotted in McDonald's parking lot by tipster who called police; short chase ensued https://t.co/kBVpCsgLdo
— KTLA (@KTLA) April 18, 2017
It appears to have happened very quickly, as a public citizen in Erie, Pennsylvania, reported a possible sighting of the suspect’s car in a McDonald’s parking lot, reportedly after recognizing his license plate tags. Police quickly arrived at the scene and the suspect led them on a brief pursuit before stopping the car.
As police approached his vehicle, Stephens reportedly shot himself, and his body was found in the car.
During the manhunt, police had warned that the suspect was likely armed. At Wednesday’s earlier news conference, Cleveland police said they had received over 100 tips about the suspect’s possible whereabouts, and said they were following every lead.
Photo: Police handout