The man who randomly gunned down a Cleveland retiree and posted video of the crime on Facebook killed himself Tuesday during a police chase in Pennsylvania that began when McDonald’s employees recognized him at a drive-thru and attempted to stall him as they contacted police.
It marked a violent end to the nearly 48-hour multistate manhunt for Steve Stephens, who was wanted in the apparently random slaying of 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. as he walked on a street collecting cans Easter Sunday.
Acting on a tip from the McDonald’s worker, Pennsylvania State Police spotted Stephens - a 37-year-old job counselor who worked with teenagers and young people - leaving the restaurant on Buffalo Road in Harborcreek Township and went after him.
Tom Ducharme Jr., who owns the McDonalds, told CBS affiliate WSEE that Stephens pulled up to the first drive-thru window around 11 a.m., where an employee recognized him and noticed he was driving a Ford Fusion with Ohio tags.
The employee took Stephens’ order and money, then immediately stepped out to call Pennsylvania State Police as Stephens pulled up to the next window, Ducharme said.
Ducharme said employees there “weren’t 100 percent sure, but we had a pretty good idea” that the man was Stephens. Based on that suspicion, Ducharme said he pulled the young woman who was working the front drive-thru window out and approached the suspect through the window with his supervisor.
“We basically told him it would be a minute for his fries, which it wasn’t really, we were just trying to make sure she got in contact with state police,” Ducharme said. “He didn’t want to wait for the fries, which was fine – he took his six-piece and didn’t want any money back and headed out on to Buffalo Road.”