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Victim’s family sends a powerful message to Facebook killer hours before he kills himself during police pursuit

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The family of Robert Godwin, the 74-year-old man killed Sunday while walking on a Cleveland sidewalk, spoke with CNN’s Don Lemon just hours before his killer, Steve Stephens, shot and killed himself, Tuesday morning.

Stephens, who executed Godwin in cold blood while broadcasting on Facebook Live, turned his weapon on himself Tuesday after a brief police pursuit in Pennsylvania.

And while Godwin’s family wanted justice, there was also compassion to forgive his killer.

Godwin’s daughter, Tammy Godwin, told Lemon she learned of her father’s death in a phone call from her mother.

“When I picked up the phone she was screaming,” the daughter said. “And she said, ‘Your father is dead.'”

Godwin explained what Stephens did to their family.

“He took our dad. I can’t believe I’m never going to talk to my father no more,” she said through tears. “I can’t believe I’m never going to be able to call my father no more. My heart is just broke.”

Son Robby Miller said posting the horrific murder on Facebook stripped his father of his dignity.

“What happened to my father was horrific,” he said. “I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. The man who videotaped my father getting shot stripped him of his dignity. And to post it online for the whole world to see? I’m just angry.”

Amid all the anger and grief, Miller said he forgives the killer after stressing that the family wants justice, not vengeance.

“No, I don’t want that man to die, I want him brought to justice,” he said. “One thing I do want to say, is that I forgive [Stephens].”

Tammy Godwin offered a powerful and forgiving message for Stephens even though he left her family devasted, “we still don’t hate you.”

Tom Tillison

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