Robert Godwin Sr.’s family spoke out about his senseless death at the hands of Steve Stephens.
“Each one of us forgives the killer, the murderer,” Tonya Godwin-Baines, a daughter of 74-year-old victim Robert Godwin, told Cleveland TV station WJW on Monday. “We want to wrap our arms around him.”
The suspect, Steve Stephens, 37, is charged with cold-bloodedly killing Godwin, a father of 10 and grandfather of 14, on Sunday. Cleveland police said Stephens posted video of the apparently random killing on Facebook. It was later removed.
Robert Godwin Jr., said: “Steve, I forgive you … I’m not happy [with] what you did but I forgive you.”
The family also pleaded for him to turn himself in. “To the young man who murdered my daddy,” Godwin-Baines told the TV station, “I ask that you please surrender. I forgive you and love you, but most importantly, God loves you. God can heal your mind and save your soul.”
The family’s words came as authorities intensified their hunt for Stephens, expanding the search nationwide and placing him on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.
In addition, Cleveland’s Mayor Frank Jackson announced a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of Stephens in the Easter Sunday shooting. The alleged shooter also claimed to have killed at least a dozen other people, although police said they have no evidence of it.