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Report: On-the-run 'Facebook killer' found dead

Steve Stephens
Steve Stephens

According to reports in the US, Steve Stephens, who is believed to have shot an elderly father and then posted a video of the apparently random killing on Facebook, has been found dead in a car

The New York Post say the body of the 37-year -old was found in a car in Pennsylvania with an apparently self-inflicted gun shot wound.

Police say Steve Stephens was spotted on Tuesday morning by state officers in Erie County, in the state's north west corner.

Authorities say police tried to pull Stephens over and, after a brief pursuit, he shot and killed himself.

Authorities had warned people in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan to be alert for Stephens, who is wanted on a charge of aggravated murder.

Robert Godwin Sr, 74, was apparently shot in Cleveland, Ohio while out picking up cans in a plastic shopping bag, his daughter said.

"Not because he needed the money, it was just something he did," Debbie Godwin, 52, said. "That's all he was doing. He wasn't harming anyone."

She said her father, who had 10 children, was a gentle man.

"We called him the junk man," she said. "He'd pick up things off the street and fix them. He picked up bikes and he fixed them."

The motive for the shooting was not entirely clear from the shaky video, in which Stephens told Mr Godwin a woman's name and said: "She's the reason that this is about to happen to you."

Mr Godwin did not seem to recognise the woman's name.

The suspect then pointed a gun at Mr Godwin, who shielded his face with the plastic bag.

Facebook said the video was posted after the killing but was not broadcast on Facebook Live as police initially indicated. The suspect did go live on the social media site at another point on Sunday.

The video of the killing was on Facebook for about three hours before it was taken down.

Stephens's Facebook page was also eventually removed.