The Pennsylvania State Police at the Erie Station are calling the case one of a homicide suspect suicide. It happened at ten after eleven Tuesday morning in Harbor Creek Township just outside the city of Erie proper along Buffalo Road.
According to a 5 pm Tuesday release from the Erie State Police , at 11:10 am, a concerned citizen contact them indicating Steve Stephens was sighted at the McDonalds Restaurant on Buffalo Road in Harbor Creek Township, Erie County. Police say Stephens was wanted for the brutal homicide of Mr. Robert Godwin in Cleveland, Ohio, Easter Sunday. Troopers responded to the scene, found Stephens' white Ford Fusion sedan and initiated a pursuit traveling west on Buffalo road through Wesleyville Borough toward the City of Erie. The troopers say officers of the Wesleyville Borough Police Department joined the chase.
Stephens stopped his car about a mile from the initial pursuit area and as troopers got out of their cars, Stephens again fled west on Buffalo Road. The pursuit continued for about a mile where troopers carried out what they term a precision immobilization technique near Downing Avenue in the City of Erie proper bringing Stephen's car to a stop. Media reports indicate spike strips were employed. It was then Stephens used a handgun to take his own life. Media reports indicate Stephens shot himself in the head.
Presently police are executing search warrants on Stephens' car and its contents. Police say they cannot determine if Stephens had been in the Erie area, but are continuing to investigate and assist the Cleveland Police Department with the investigation.
The Pennsylvania State Police say while this was not the ideal outcome, they are pleased no one from the community was harmed including law enforcement officers and other emergency personnel. The state police are extending condolences to the Godwin family in Cleveland, Ohio.
Assisting in the case were members of the Wesleyville Borough Police Department, the Erie City Bureau of Police, the Erie County Coroner Lyle Cook, and Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri.
The troopers are extending their thanks to the public for their diligence and for the numerous tips received over the last several days. The public was instrumental in bringing this investigation to a successful conclusion.