On Sunday, 74-year-old Robert Goodwin Sr. was shot and killed in Cleveland, Ohio. The man police believed was responsible, 37-year-old Steve Stephens, uploaded video of the gruesome act to his Facebook account.
Goodwin’s killing shocked the community and led to U.S-wide manhunt. The search came to an end Tuesday morning with the news that Stephens had taken his own life after an encounter with police.
“This started with one tragedy and ended with another person taking their own life,” said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams. “We would have liked to have brought Steve in peacefully and really talked to him about why this happened.”
For the family of Goodwin, the killing has been difficult even beyond the terrible reality of a loved one’s senseless loss. Because the killing was broadcast on the internet, the Goodwins know that people may have watched his killing – and that video of it may circulate on the internet for a long time.
In an emotional statement to local media, Goodwin’s children acknowledged the fact that there was likely nothing they could do to stop others from watching.
Instead, Goodwin’s son had a request for anyone who might see the video in the future.
“If you do watch it, it should make you want to change,” Robert Goodwin Jr. said. “So sharing it? Share on. But take something from it.”
Part of that, the family hopes, is acknowledgement of who their father was, beyond his terrifying final moments.
A retired foundry worker, Goodwin was patriarch to a large and growing family: nine children, 14 grandchildren and many great grandchildren.
According to his family his favourite hobbies were basketball and fishing – he had even been fishing the day before he was killed, according to Robert Jr.
“My daddy had for us our own fishing rods so when we went out of town, we could fish whenever we want,” Goodwin’s son Terrell told WOIO News.
WATCH: Family, friends of Robert Goodwin Sr. gather for vigil on street where he was shot
He also collected aluminum cans and could often be seen carrying a plastic bag in which to store them, as he was on Sunday when Stephens approached him.
That morning, he had stopped by his son’s house to pick up some basketball equipment for another one of his children.
“He hugged my wife and me and said ‘I’ll see you guys next time,'” Godwin Jr. said in a separate interview with Cleveland.com “I said ‘OK, enjoy your Easter.'”
On Sunday hundreds gathered on Cleveland’s East 93rd Street, the same street where Goodwin was killed, to pay their final respects.
Speaking to the gathered crowd, Angela Small, the mother of two of Goodwin’s children, spoke to the media about her the depth of her loss.
“We’re trying, I’m trying to stop crying.” Goodwin’s sister told WOI0 news in Ohio. “But it’s hard. He was a good man.”
WATCH: Sister of Cleveland murder victim says she wished his killer had stood trial
Authorities say Stephens fatally shot himself after a brief police pursuit in northwest Pennsylvania on Tuesday afternoon.
It wasn’t immediately clear where Stephens had been since Sunday.
Authorities say Pennsylvania police got a tip that Stephens was spotted Tuesday morning in a fast food restaurant parking lot in Erie County. Authorities say police tried to pull him over and, after a brief chase, he killed himself.
Police would not speculate on what was behind the killing, but in the video and other footage he posted, Stephens talked about losing everything he had to gambling and having trouble with his girlfriend.
One of Godwin’s daughters, Debbie Godwin, said she wished Stephens had been captured.
“I’m not happy he’s dead at all, not at all. If you did it, you have to face your crime,” she said.
–With files from the Associated Press