On Tuesday, authorities said that the man known as the “Facebook killer” was probably taken down by McDonald’s employees in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Holding the fries:
On Sunday Steve Stephens shot and killed a man then posted the video on Facebook. According to police, Stephens died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on Tuesday afternoon after a brief chase by Pennsylvania state police.
However, before the car chase, Stephens stopped at a McDonald’s drive-thru. He ordered 20 Chicken McNuggets and large fries, as per Henry Sayers, the restaurant’s manager who gave an interview to The New York Times.
Tom DuCharme, who owns that McDonald’s franchise, and the police, stated that a female employee recognized Stephens when he came up to the window and then she confirmed with other workers that it was indeed him.
DuCharme said the employee took Stephens’ money and called the police after he drove to the next window. The workers tried to stall Stephens by giving him his chicken nuggets but holding up his order of fries, but he didn’t wait.
Sayers told The Times: “He just took his nuggets and said, ‘I have to go,’ and he drove off.” He added that Stephens drove at a normal speed when leaving the restaurant and didn’t speed away.
In a statement to Business Insider, a McDonald’s spokesman said: “We applaud the crew members at this McDonald’s restaurant who recognized the suspect and did the right thing by quickly alerting the authorities of his location. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s loved ones and all of those impacted by this horrific crime.”
DuCharme said that police were right behind Stephens by the time left the restaurant and turned onto Buffalo Road, where he killed himself according to police.
A tragic end:
Police pursued Stephens after they tracked down his car. They tried to get him to pull over, and the chase did not go over 50 mph.
Stephen was forced to stop when a state trooper applied what police call the PIT maneuver, where a fleeing vehicle is forced to suddenly turn by a pursuing car which causes the driver to lose control and stop.
On Tuesday, Pennsylvania state police said both on Twitter and at a news conference that Stephens shot himself as officers approached his car.
Stephens posted several disturbing videos on Facebook on Sunday, among them one showing Stephens shooting and killing 74-year-old Robert Godwin after Godwin left an Easter meal with his family. Stephens has been on the run from law enforcement since then.
Within a few hours of the video getting posted, Facebook took down the video, as well as others Stephens posted, and disabled his account.