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Family of man killed in Facebook video says he was 'stripped of his dignity'

Nationwide manhunt for suspect continues
Posted at 6:52 AM, Apr 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-18 09:52:17-04

A phone call. Then a scream on the other end.

That's how Tammy Godwin found out that her father, Robert Godwin Sr., had been shot to death.

"My mom ... called my house phone. When I picked up the phone she was screaming," Tammy Godwin told CNN's Don Lemon on Monday night. "And she said, 'Your father is dead.'"

Officials held a press conference to give the latest. Watch the video here. 

The Godwin family is coming to grips with the cold-blooded slaying, a killing seen by untold numbers of people after his suspected killer posted video of the shooting to Facebook.

Robert Godwin, 74, was killed Sunday while walking down the sidewalk on a Cleveland street. Steve Stephens, 37, is charged with aggravated murder in the death of Godwin, a former manufacturing worker, self-taught mechanic, father of 10 and grandfather of 14.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams has said Stephens apparently chose Godwin at random. Law enforcement nationwide are on high alert in the hunt for Stephens, Williams told reporters Monday.

A broken heart

Tammy Godwin said after getting that call she ran down to her mother's house, just a few doors down, not being able to fully comprehend the news she was just told.

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

Tammy Godwin wanted to make sure her father's killer knew just what was taken from them -- a good man who was the rock of his family.

One of Robert Godwin's sons said he was greatly disturbed by how the killer carried out his awful deed.

"What happened to my father was horrific," Robby Miller 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."

Miller stressed, though, that despite their hurt and anger, 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 (the killer)."

Miller urged the suspect to turn himself in, saying he'd done enough damage.