Steve Stephens has been on the run since Sunday, after murdering a 74-year-old man who he shot at random. He recorded the murder on his phone, then later posted the horrific act on Facebook.
There was $50,000 reward for information leading to Stephens’ arrest. The story had made national headlines, police were everywhere looking for him, but it ended up being some brave employees of a McDonald’s restaurant in Erie, PA who helped bring him to justice.
Stephens made the decision to stop and grab some food while on the run, and ended up at a McDonald’s. The employees recognized him, since he was all over the news, and decided to take a very risky action. They purposefully delayed his fries while alerting authorities in hopes of stalling him until backup arrived. From local reporter Jessica Dill:
Wow these McDonalds employees who called 911 on Steve Stephens took a chance and tried to stall him.. knowing he was armed. Brave. pic.twitter.com/bw75fMe9Ag
— Jessica Dill (@JessicaLynnDill) April 18, 2017
Indeed, a very brave move. They knew full well what this man was capable of, and decided to help anyway.
McDonalds employees called the cops on Steve Stephens, held his fries hostage to keep him there https://t.co/fBvlmTqBC1
— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) April 18, 2017
Authorities received the tip, and saw Stephens’ vehicle before it left the parking lot. The New York Times has details:
Pennsylvania State Police got a tip that Mr. Stephens’ vehicle, a white Ford Fusion, was in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant. When he left the lot, troopers tried to pull him over around 11 a.m., Chief Calvin D. Williams of the Cleveland Police Department said at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.
After a short pursuit, Mr. Stephens pulled over and shot himself; he died at the scene, Chief Williams said.
Steve Stephens was spotted this morning by PSP members in Erie County. After a brief pursuit, Stephens shot and killed himself.
— PA State Police (@PAStatePolice) April 18, 2017
A horrible ending to a horrible story, but the McDonald’s workers who acted so courageously most likely saved lives in the process.
As for the Godwin family, they were sad to see the ending, with family members saying they would rather have seen Stephens serve time rather than commit suicide. “I’m not happy he’s dead at all” Debbie Godwin told reporters.
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