PA State Police troopers involved in Facebook killer pursuit say they were prepared for the worst

Police concerned Stephens could start shooting
Posted at 10:59 AM, Apr 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-19 11:00:58-04

Two troopers with the Pennsylvania State Police, involved in the two-mile chase of Facebook killer Steve Stephens, spoke Tuesday about the tense situation just minutes before Stephens took his own life.

Captain Jim Basinger and Lt. Wayne Kline took part in the chase after Stephens was spotted at a Pennsylvania McDonald's less than two days after police say he shot and killed 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. on Cleveland's east side on Easter Sunday.

RELATED: Police tapes reveal final seconds of Facebook killer's chase by Pennsylvania State Police

Basinger told News 5 troopers giving chase were prepared for the worst.

"If he would've started firing, our officers would've fired back," said Basinger. "We were wondering, is this going to end in a gunfight? Because he alluded to that fact in his statements on Facebook that he wasn't going to give up...and he was going to continue to kill people."

Kline said one of his biggest concerns was that the chase was heading into a densely populated business district.

"At lunchtime we're initiating a pursuit where there are a lot of restaurants, a lot of people that are out on their lunch break, a lot of traffic, a lot of people out on the sidewalk," said Kline. "So there was a lot of opportunity for a lot of bad things to occur."

Kline said four state police cruisers were part of the chase, with one of them bumping the car driven by Stephens, causing him to stop his vehicle on Buffalo Road.

Police said seconds later Stephens used a handgun to take his own life.

Basinger said it wasn't the outcome troopers wanted but he was relieved no one else was hurt.