Cleveland Police(NEW YORK) — The ex-girlfriend of Steve Stephens, the suspect in the Cleveland, Ohio, Facebook killing, said she is trying to “pick up the pieces of my world” after Stephens used her name in a video of a murder he uploaded to Facebook.
“I don’t know if I know how to be Joy Lane anymore. I don’t know how to pick up all the pieces of my world at the moment,” Joy Lane told WJW, a Fox station in Cleveland, on Tuesday. “I’ve got a lot of negative comments…I’ve been told that I’m the one who should have died.”
Stephens, who dated Lane for several years, allegedly gunned down Robert Godwin Sr., 74, in Cleveland, Ohio, Sunday and uploaded the video to Facebook.
In the video, which has since been removed from Facebook, Stephens mentions Lane in the moments before the shooting, saying to the victim, “She’s the reason why all this about to happen to you.”
Godwin can be seen raising his hands in an apparent attempt to ward off his attacker before he is shot once in the head.
Two of Godwin’s daughters, Tonya Godwin Baines and Debbie Godwin, met with Lane on Tuesday and told her “[It’s] not your fault.”
“I feel bad,” Lane told the sisters, according to WJW. “The last thing [Godwin] would have said is my name and he didn’t know me or why he was saying it, and that’s been difficult.”
Baines told ABC News Monday that the video “forever will be in my mind because I saw the fear in my father’s eyes.”
Baines said it “feels like our heart is just ripped out of our chest. For somebody to brutally murder my father like that is unbelievable.”
Baines described her father as the epitome of a family man who “would give you the shirt off his back.”
“He taught us about God, he taught us love, forgiveness. Just to know that I will never ever hear my father’s voice again is devastating,” Baines said.
“We can never replace him,” she added, crying. “A part of us died with him.”
Lane told WJW she last spoke to Stephens the night before the shooting and he told her he had quit his job and moved out of the state.
Stephens shot and killed himself after a brief police chase in Erie County, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
Police received a tip that the vehicle police were looking for in connection to Stephens, who had been on the run since Sunday, was in a McDonald’s parking lot near Erie, about 100 miles northeast of Cleveland, Calvin Williams, Cleveland’s police chief, said at a news conference Tuesday.
It was a McDonald’s employee who called police after recognizing Stephens while at the drive-thru.
“The drive-thru employee that was working at the time recognized him,” the restaurant’s owner, Tom Ducharme Jr., told ABC News. “Basically told him it was going to be a minute for his fries. He was a little nerved up, a little agitated and didn’t want to wait, said he had to go.”
Surveillance video captured Stephens’ car traveling down the road before police officers eventually rammed his car, bringing Stephens to a stop.
“The vehicles surrounded the white Ford Focus at which time Mr. Stephens took his own life,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Wayne Kline said in a news conference.
Police have not yet confirmed whether the McDonald’s drive-thru employee will be given reward money.
McDonald’s applauded the crew members in a statement Tuesday to ABC news.
“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,” a spokesperson for McDonald’s said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s loved ones and all of those impacted by this horrific crime.”
Stephens claimed to have committed multiple homicides, according to police, but no additional victims have been found. The investigation is ongoing, police said Tuesday.
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