McDonald's order trips up Facebook slaying suspect


The man who police say shot a Cleveland retiree at random and posted video of the killing on Facebook pulled up to the drive-thru window of a McDonald's restaurant outside Erie, Pennsylvania, and waited for his order.

It was late Tuesday morning, almost lunchtime, and authorities were in the third day of an intensive manhunt for Stephens.

Now, more than 100 miles from the shooting, his time on the run was nearly up.

The attendant who took his money recognized the suspect and dialed 911. Stephens pulled up to the next window, where restaurant owner Thomas DuCharme Jr. and a supervisor tried stalling him by telling him his fries were delayed.

Stephens didn't want to wait. He took his McNuggets and whipped out of the parking lot, nearly hitting Gail Wheeler, 54, a retail operations manager from Erie who was on her way home from the grocery store.

"Two seconds later, I hear these sirens, and they come whipping past me," she told The Associated Press.

Wheeler followed behind for a couple miles. She said the chase slowed suddenly from 50 mph to about 20 mph when the road narrowed from four lanes to two.

One of the pursuing troopers picked his spot — in front of an abandoned school — and hit Stephens' bumper to get him to stop. The Ford Fusion did a half-turn and came to rest at the curb.

Police were starting to get out of their cruisers when "I heard a shot. It was loud and distinctive," Wheeler said.

"The next thing I know, they're approaching the car. The one officer just shook his head. He was closest to the car. ... They had their guns out but when he shook his head, they lowered their guns."

Stephens killed himself, authorities said.

State police Major William Teper Jr. said the trooper who bumped Stephens' car "saw him pull the gun out and shoot himself."

___

Associated Press researcher Monika Mathur in Washington contributed to this report.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Justin Bieber accidentally hits photographer with pickup truck, police say
Justin Bieber accidentally hits photographer with pickup truck, police say

Pop star Justin Bieber reportedly hit a member of the paparazzi with his pickup truck late Wednesday in Beverly Hills, California. According to the Los Angeles Times, Bieber accidentally hit the 57-year-old man about 9:30 p.m. near the intersection of Hamilton Drive and Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills police said. CNN reported that City...
Convicted pedophile priest Paul Shanley to be released from prison
Convicted pedophile priest Paul Shanley to be released from prison

Convicted pedophile and defrocked priest Paul Shanley is set to be released from prison Friday. In 2005, Shanley was convicted of two counts of child rape and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child. The abuse happened between 1983 and 1989 at St. Jean's Church in Newton, Massachusetts. Shanley, now 86 years old, was sentenced to...
Ellen DeGeneres fires back at Trump's tweet about transgender military ban
Ellen DeGeneres fires back at Trump's tweet about transgender military ban

Ellen DeGeneres certainly doesn’t agree with President Donald Trump’s latest announcement about banning transgender individuals from joining the military. Following the news of the ban, the TV host shared a message with fans on Twitter to express her disagreement. “We should be grateful to the people who wish to serve...
Bobby Brown remembers Bobbi Kristina Brown two years after her passing
Bobby Brown remembers Bobbi Kristina Brown two years after her passing

Two years after her tragic death, Bobbi Kristina Brown’s father is paying tribute to his “baby girl.” On Wednesday, Bobby Brown took to Twitter to share a video of his late daughter singing Adele’s “Someone Like You” as his way of commemorating the second anniversary of her death. “I [heart] you Baby Girl,&rdquo...
One-armed, machete-wielding clown arrested in Maine
One-armed, machete-wielding clown arrested in Maine

Maine saw its first “creepy clown” sighting of the year on Tuesday when residents reported a machete-wielding man in a clown mask near their neighborhood. WCSH in Portland reported that 911 dispatchers got multiple calls around 6 p.m. Tuesday from residents in Hollis, who reported that the man was walking near a convenience store before...
More Stories