Updates To The Cleveland Facebook Homicide Focus On Locating The Suspect
The Internet reacted with collective horror on Sunday when, according to Cleveland police, a man committed murder in broad daylight and broadcasted the killing on Facebook Live, talking openly about the crime he was committing. The suspected shooter has been identified and is still on the loose, but a lot about the story is still unclear. However, there are a few updates to the Cleveland Facebook homicide case.
Facebook issued a statement on the incident, condemning the violence, and clarified that the shooting was not recorded on Facebook Live. Instead, it was allegedly recorded before being uploaded to Facebook. “This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson said. "We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety.” The video of the killing was only viewable on Facebook for three hours before it was taken down, and the alleged shooter's Facebook page has been deactivated.
Police say that the murder suspect— a 37-year-old, 6-foot-1 African-American male with a shaved head and full beard — killed 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sunday afternoon on East 93rd street. Authorities believe that he's driving a white Ford Fusion with the temporary license plate number E363630, and have warned anybody who sees him to call 9-11, rather than attempt to confront him.
In the video he recorded, the suspected shooter said that he worked at Beech Brook, a children's mental health facility, and the agency subsequently confirmed to Fox 8 that he is indeed an employee. A spokeswoman said that Beech Brook was "shocked and horrified" to hear the news, and is "hoping that the Cleveland Police will be able to apprehend" the suspect before he hurts anybody else.
The alleged gunman said that he was "going to kill as many people as I can," claiming in his video to have killed a total of 15 people. However, police haven't identified any victims other than Goodwin.
A manhunt is underway for the suspected shooter, and according to FOX 8, the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are assisting local police in the search.
“What happened today is senseless,” said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams at a press conference. He noted that the alleged shooter has “a relationship with some of our clergy in Northeast Ohio," and encouraged him to "give them a call and then call us and turn yourself in.” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has vowed that "he will eventually be caught."