Rumors about whereabouts of Facebook shooting suspect circulate online

Posted at 11:31 PM, Apr 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-17 18:11:38-04

Cleveland police received hundreds of tips Sunday, speculating on the possible whereabouts of the suspect accused of shooting and killing 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. and posting the video on Facebook.

RELATED: VIDEO: Suspect went on rant before broadcasting fatal shooting on Facebook

Rumors filled social media but, case after case, the information led police to a dead end. 

NEW: ABC News and CNN report that a cell phone belonging to Steve Stephens pinged off of a tower in the Erie, PA area.

The video of the shooting was not broadcast live, as widely reported. It was recorded and then uploaded to Facebook by Stephens, according to a Facebook spokesperson. In a statement, the spokesperson said the shooting was a "horrific crime."

News 5 went to about a dozen scenes from the east side of Cleveland to Solon to Chesterland . We shot video of several white cars — like the one the suspect is reportedly driving — being checked out by police.

In Maple Heights, someone called saying they saw a man matching the description of the shooter walking into the Giant Eagle on Warrensville Center Road. Maple Heights, Bedford, Bedford Heights, and Regional Transit police responded but did not find the suspect.


After hours of misinformation being circulated online, Cleveland police are telling citizens to make sure they pay attention to reliable social media feeds. 

"Misinformation in emergencies is dangerous," a Cleveland police spokesperson wrote.

Still, tips are essential in this case and police encourage anyone who sees the vehicle or Steve Stephens to immediately call 911.

But if News 5 isn't publishing new information, it doesn't mean we're not investigating it. It just means the information has not been deemed credible. 

MORE: 'A good man': Family members mourn the death of Facebook shooting victim