Erie police are confirming that Steve Stephens killed himself in Erie, Pa., this morning.
From the Erie Times-News
: "Steve Stephens found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound in white Ford Fusion on Buffalo Road, Erie police confirmed. State police had been following the car as it was headed west into the city of Erie."
Police are reporting that Stephens shot himself "while driving a white Ford Fusion" around 11:10 a.m. The Pennsylvania State Police confirmed that Stephens had been spotted shortly before then in a nearby McDonald's parking lot, and a "brief pursuit" ensued in the residential outskirts of downtown Erie. As officers converged, Stephens shot and killed himself.
The New York Times
' Christopher Mele later provided some interesting context
to the McDonald's tip:
This is a developing story, following several days of almost no information about Stephens. Earlier this week, law enforcement in Cleveland and Erie could not confirm
media reports of Stephens' cell phone being "pinged" in Erie.
Police Chief Calvin Williams said today that law enforcement search the area on Sunday. Police were planning on searching the area again today. He and the mayor acknowledged the "dozens and dozens" of law enforcement officers who played a vital role in the search for Stephens over the past few days — involving hundreds of leads.
Williams said today that family members of Robert Godwin Sr., the victim of Stephens' random Easter Sunday shooting, have told Cleveland police that they have forgiven Stephens.
The chief also acknowledged that there are many other victims of violence in Cleveland: "We continue to work hard to bring closure to those families also."
"This particular incident received a lot of attention — and rightfully so, as it involved the loss of innocents," Mayor Frank Jackson said. "We, however, have many, many homicides not only in Cleveland but throughout this nation. We cannot resolve the underlying issues of violence ... without the same compassion and commitment that we've shown here."