Facebook shooting victim honored by police with digital painting

A police officer in Philadelphia has created a digital portrait honoring 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr., the Ohio man killed last week in a shooting that was recorded and posted to Facebook.

To celebrate the life of Godwin, Philadelphia Police Department forensic graphic artist Jonny Castro created a digital painting of the Cleveland victim.


The image, accompanied by a message thanking the community for their help, was posted to the Philadelphia Police Department’s Facebook page on April 18.

“This digital painting of Cleveland, Ohio homicide victim Robert Godwin, Sr. is being shared in order to get an extremely important message out there,” the department wrote in a post that’s since been shared more than 9,000 times. “YOU – the public – are the best weapon we have in the fight against crime. Sure, that’s a cliché – but some clichés become clichés for a reason. FACT: Mr. Godwin’s killer is no longer a threat because a citizen picked up a phone and called police.”

The post was in reference to employees at a McDonald’s in Erie, Pennsylvania. Workers there spotted the murder suspect, Steve Stephens, at a drive-thru on Tuesday and subsequently tried to hold him off as they contacted police. Police quickly responded and participated in a brief chase two miles from the restaurant before Stephens killed himself.

A group of police officers in Philadelphia’s 18th district asked Castro to paint the commemorative photo of Godwin, CBS News reported. The officers then combined funds to ensure that the victim’s nine children and 14 grandchildren each would get a copy of the photo for free.