Cleveland, Ohio, Apr 18, 2017 / 14:28 pm
Mourning family members of a Cleveland man whose murder on Easter Sunday was posted online in a Facebook video said that despite their grief, they forgive their father’s killer.
“Each one of us forgives the killer. The murderer. We want to wrap our arms around him,” said Tonya Godwin Baines in a CNN interview.
She said that it was her slain father who taught her, through the example of his life, how to forgive.
“The thing that I would take away the most from my father is he taught us about God. How to fear God. How to love God. And how to forgive.”
On Sunday afternoon, 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. was shot and killed in Cleveland while walking home from Easter dinner with his family. Police said that the suspect, 37-year-old Steve Stephens, apparently chose his victim at random, and then uploaded a video of the murder to Facebook. The social media network later removed the video.
Following a nationwide manhunt, authorities were notified that Stephens’ car had been seen in a McDonald’s parking lot near Erie, Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning. Stephens shot and killed himself after a brief pursuit, police said.
The daughter of the Facebook murder victim has a message for the killer: I want him to know that "he's loved by God" https://t.co/1lbr6fXvsX— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) April 18, 2017