A McDonalds drive up window attendant
recognized Steve Stephens and called 911.
According to a 5 pm Tuesday release from the Erie
State Police , at 11:10 am, an alert McDonald's
employee contacted them indicating Steve Stephens
was sighted at the McDonalds Restaurant on Buffalo
Road in Harbor Creek Township, Erie County. Henry
Sayres, the restaurant manager says Stephens pulled
up to the drive thru and ordered Chicken McNuggets
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.
Sayres says "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. "
Restaurant Owner Thomas DuCharme, Jr. says workers tried to "buy some time for the cops" and told Stephens his order of fries was delayed. Du Charme says Stephens replied he had no time to wait and drove away. He says "I could't prouder of my employees, the restaurant, the Pennsylvania State Police. everyone came together and did what we had to do."