Police in Cleveland were searching for a homicide suspect who they said broadcast a killing on Facebook Live and claimed to have committed “multiple other homicides” that authorities had yet to verify.
In the video, which appears shaky, Stephens gets out of his car and appears to randomly target Goodwin, who was walking on a sidewalk carrying a shopping bag. Stephens says the name of a woman, whom Goodwin does not seem to recognize.
“She’s the reason that this is about to happen to you,” Stephens told Goodwin before pointing a gun at him. Goodwin can be seen shielding his face with the shopping bag.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson publicly urged Stephens to turn himself in to police and not to “do any more harm to anybody.”
A Facebook spokesperson called the shooting “a horrific crime,” adding, “We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety.”
Authorities on Sunday said a series of posts on Stephens’ Facebook page complained that he had “lost everything” to gambling, NBC News reported. Stephens allegedly wrote: “I killed 12 people today,” and said he wouldn’t stop until he could speak to his mother and a second woman.
Later, the user posted: “I killed 15 today because of [the second woman],” but police said no other victims had been found. The video of the killing remained on Facebook for nearly three hours before it was taken down and Stephens’ page deactivated, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.
Several recent shootings have played out live on the online platform, including the police killing last July of Philando Castile during a traffic stop. Also last July, three people were injured in a shooting captured on Facebook Live in Norfolk, Va. The men were sitting in a car listening to music when the shooting took place. The phone streaming the shooting fell to the floor of the car and continued recording for about two hours as police arrived and bystanders offered aid.