By: Symphony Webb
HOUSTON — The world was shocked when Steven Stephens ruthlessly shot and killed an innocent elderly man out for a stroll on Easter Sunday.
Stephens expressed in several videos that, over the past year, his life had been in shambles and he was left with nothing after a three-year relationship with his girlfriend, Joy Lane.
He claims that caused him to go on a killing spree in which he says he randomly shot and killed 15 people and told viewer watching his Facebook live that he would not stop until he was caught by police. The multiple shootings Stephens boasted about have not been verified, but one was captured on a video Stephens recorded and posted on social media.
Stephens walked up to a stranger, 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr., and fatally shot him after asking him to say the name of his girlfriend, Joy Lane. The elderly man seemed confused and tried to explain that he did not know Stephens’ girlfriend, but the deranged killer shot the man in cold blood.
The search for Stephens spread across a wide area of the country, with apparently false sightings reported in eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Indiana, Michigan and even Texas. But he ended his life near Erie, Pa., about 100 miles from Cleveland.
The search came to an end Tuesday after Stephens was spotted at a McDonalds’ drive thru, ordering what was to become his last meal. An employee recognized Stephens and then tried to stall him by telling him his French fries were not ready. In an interview the manager from the restaurant, Henry Sayers, said that Stephens ordered a 20-piece chicken nugget and large fries, but was unwilling to wait for the rest of his order.
“He just took his nuggets and said, ‘I have to go,’ and he drove off,” Sayers said.
The Pennsylvania State Troopers and officers from the borough of Wesley Ville caught up to Stephens and a chase began. A state trooper bumped Stephens’ car in a technique called a PIT maneuver that is designed to force a suspect to lose control. As his car began spinning, Stephens pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head.
Family members Godwin Sr. were not satisfied with the outcome.
“We are not happy about the outcome because we would’ve preferred that he turned himself in and paid the penalty for taking my father’s life. We forgave him, but even the Bible says the law is the law. Him dying serves us no purpose,” a family member said.
But what about the rest of the world? Some people are saying Good Riddance, while others are feeling that Stephens was depressed and felt the case is a perfect way to shed light on mental illness. But how would you feel if your beloved “Pa Pa” was enjoying his day on a stroll and a person came along and killed him for no other reason – than being angry with his girlfriend. To make matters worse, the person bragged about it on Facebook and you have to re-live the final moments of your loved one’s life over and over on replay.
We are praying for all of the families involved in this tragic incident.