Memphis, Tenney, Police here say a man walking around the city shot people during an hour-long stampede on Wednesday, killing four, forcing fearful people to shelter.
Police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly, who was charged as an adult in 2020 with attempted first-degree murder, was taken into custody around 9 p.m. in the Memphis neighborhood of Whitehaven. Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said during a news conference early Thursday that charges are pending.
Davis said four people were killed and three others were injured in seven shootings in Memphis. The commotion that started at 12:56 pm on Wednesday continued till 8:30 pm.
There were at least eight crime scenes: seven shootings in Southaven, Mississippi and the murder of a Dodge Challenger, Davis said.
The suspect was arrested after crashing during a speeding chase from Mississippi back to Memphis. This followed carjacking in Southaven, which is south of Memphis.
CBS Memphis affiliate WREG-TV reports that the suspect got into a standoff in Memphis, refusing to exit the vehicle, which was surrounded by police. The SWAT team was called in to help. Memphis police say the suspect was taken into custody with the help of the Shelby County Sheriff’s deputy.
The arrests came nearly two hours after police sent out an alert, which said a man wielding a light blue Infiniti was responsible for several shootings in the city. Police said he later killed a woman in Memphis and took her gray Toyota SUV, which he left behind while carjacking a Dodge Challenger in Southven. Police said he recorded his actions on Facebook.
In a Facebook Live video seen by a WREG staff member, the suspect was seen getting out of a car, walking into an autozone, and firing. The video was later removed from the platform.
As the shooter terrorized Memphis, public bus service was suspended and a downtown stadium where a minor-league baseball game was taking place was placed on lockdown. Friends and relatives called and texted each other to check on their safety. TV stations cut back on regular coverage to keep viewers updated.
Davis said police received “many suggestions” from the public during the exam.
The University of Memphis sent a message to students saying a shooting had been reported near campus.
Rhodes College, which is about four miles from the university, advised students on and off campus to take refuge in the place.
The area where the suspect was arrested was about 11 miles from the University of Memphis and about 12 miles from Rhodes College.
Memphis Police tweeted before the arrest, “If you don’t have to go out, stay indoors until this is resolved.”
Police did not discuss a motive or release the identities of those killed or injured.
Ali Roberts, assistant special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Memphis, said the investigation was too early to discuss how the suspect got the gun or guns.
Memphis has been rocked by several high-profile murders in recent weeks, including the shooting of a pastor during broad daylight, the shooting of a worker during an argument over money, and,
Memphis City Council member Chase Carlisle said on Twitter: “I understand what it feels like to experience so much violence and evil in such a short period of time.” “We are so much more than that.”
In February of 2020, the suspect, then 17, was charged with first-degree attempted murder as an adult, aggravated assault, using a firearm to commit a dangerous felony, and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon was, court records showed. The circumstances of the case were not immediately known.
Records show that he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to three years in April 2021. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said the suspect was released from prison in March, 11 months after being sentenced.