Shooting Spree in Memphis Leaves 4 Dead; Suspect in Custody

Police in Memphis, Tennessee, said a man who drove around the city Wednesday shooting at people — killing four, wounding three others — live-streamed the act live on social media.

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said officers arrested 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly, a violent felon who was released early from prison this year, was taken into custody at around 9 p.m. Wednesday, almost a full day after it was determined the first shooting took place, about 12:56 a.m.

Speaking to reporters early Thursday, Davis said police responded to a call regarding a shooting at a store just before 6 p.m. She said Kelly was on Facebook Live inside the store when he opened fire. The police chief said officers found a man with a gunshot wound at that scene who was transported to a nearby hospital.

A few minutes later — 6:12 p.m. — Davis said police received information from concerned citizens saying the suspect was on Facebook “threatening to cause harm to citizens.” She said that is when the police department launched a citywide search.

During that search, police warned people across the city to shelter in place, locking down a baseball stadium and university campuses and suspending public bus services.

Police said they responded to multiple crime scenes around the city until, a police spokeswoman said, Kelly was finally arrested after crashing a stolen car in the Memphis neighborhood of Whitehaven.

Court records indicate Kelly was charged as an adult in February 2020 with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, using a firearm to commit a dangerous felony and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. He was 17 at the time.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland told reporters Kelly had pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced in April 2021 to three years behind bars. He was released from prison 11 months later.

Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press and Reuters

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