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Stephens' fraternity brother says members offered him help about a year ago, but he didn't act on it

Posted at 6:51 PM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-18 09:19:34-04

Steve Stephens’ fraternity brother opened up to News 5 about his friend and fellow neighbor, telling us the two had plans to meet up in a few weeks.

Stephens was a longtime member of Omega Psi Phi. Stephens' fraternity brother says he kept getting tagged in that now infamous Facebook video after church on Easter Sunday.

MORE: Find complete Steve Stephens coverage here

But he couldn’t believe that the man behind the gun was the same man he had plans to go fishing with in a few weeks.

“I went to Google and boom! his picture’s there and I’m like, my heart just sunk," said the friend, who wanted to remain anonymous. “What happened Sunday and what I knew of him just didn’t mesh, it just didn’t make sense."

He says he is still trying to make sense of what led his friend to broadcast himself shooting 74-year-old Robert Godwin Jr. at random.

"He never displayed any kind of hostility or anything. Very low key,” he said. In fact, the Omega Psi Phi said the most animated he’s ever seen Stephens is in the video of his rant. “I guess that was the final straw for him and he just felt he had nothing to lose at that point."

Stephens’ fraternity brother says he last saw him about a month ago and didn’t notice anything different about him.

“I wish I on the other end had seen the signs and maybe I should’ve said something to him," he said. 

“I am at the point where I snapped. See the thing is every time I talk to you mother*****rs, ya’ll always f***ing blow me off or make my s**t seem like it ain't s**t,” Stephens said in a video posted to Facebook Sunday. 

The friend told News 5, about a year ago, concerned fraternity members did offer help to Stephens, but he declined.

The manhunt

Stephens is described as being just over 6 feet tall, weighing about 244 pounds. He is bald with a full beard. The FBI is also assisting in the search. 

Cleveland police confirmed to News 5 Monday that Stephens had a concealed carry permit. 

Police say the suspect's vehicle is a white Ford Fusion with temporary tag E363630. 

 

If you see the suspect, call 911.