Published: Wed, April 19, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Suspect in Facebook video killing shoots himself to death

Last summer, the death of Philando Castile, a Minnesota man shot by the police during a traffic stop, was broadcast by his girlfriend live across Facebook.

Posts on Stephens' Facebook page said he had "lost everything" to gambling and wanted to speak to several people he named, according to NBC News, which saved the Facebook posts before they were removed.

Police are still on the hunt for a Cleveland man who murdered a civilian, took a video of the account, and published said footage on Facebook.

Police earlier Sunday had said that Stephens had broadcast it on Facebook Live. The algorithms that control what you see on your Google search results, Facebook feed and other online platforms rely largely on accumulated user data to determine what is most relevant. In a statement, they said he may have traveled out of state. The search for murder suspect Steve Stephens put authorities in surrounding states on the lookout.

The police chief said authorities didn't know whether Stephens was still in the Cleveland area.

The shooting is the latest violent incident shown on Facebook, raising questions about how the world's biggest social media network moderates content.

A warrant for Stephens for a charge of aggravated murder has been issued, and police asked residents of Indiana, Michigan, New York, northeast OH and Pennsylvania to be on alert.

"I forgive him because we are all sinners", he said. The fraternity issued a statement Sunday night offering "our honest and heartfelt prayers and condolences of comfort to the families" affected by the shooting. Godwin didn't seem to recognize the woman's name.

Police say the 37-year-old Stephens pulled out a pistol and killed himself as the vehicle spun.

Police Chief Calvin Williams warned residents to be careful as the go about their day. They said they tried to convince him to surrender during the call.

"I don't think they understand that the correct answer is zero", says Brian Wieser, an analyst who covers both companies at Pivotal Research Group.

Police in Cleveland are searching for a man who apparently streamed the fatal shooting of a "random" victim via Facebook Live on Easter Sunday.

Stevens worked for Beech Brook, a behavioral health agency serving children through mental health services, foster care and adoption, at-risk youth programs and other services.

Investigating agencies and Crime Stoppers are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the suspect's capture.

He's identified as 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr.

In one video posted on Facebook, Stephens said he gambled away everything and that he and his girlfriend had planned to marry but did not, without saying why.

Lane, in a text message to CBS News commenting on the shooting, said she was "sorry that all of this has happened".

Authorities received more than 400 tips from the public related to Stephens.

"As a result of this bad series of events, we are reviewing our reporting flows to be sure people can report videos and other material that violates our standards as easily and quickly as possible", Facebook's vice president of global operations, Justin Osofsky, said in a statement Monday evening.

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