Four killed in hourslong Memphis shooting rampage before suspect arrested, police say

Memphis, Tenney, A gunman who fired at people while driving around Memphis, killing four people and injuring three others, was finally arrested after crashing into a stolen car, police said early Thursday.

The hours-long stampede had prompted police to shelter people across the city, closing baseball stadiums and university campuses, and suspending public bus services as terrified residents wondered where the man might attack next. Is.

Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said four people were killed and three others injured in seven shootings before Ezekiel Kelly was arrested without incident at around 9 p.m.

Search continues for suspect wanted in Memphis shooting spree
The undated photo shows 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly, who was arrested on September 7, 2022 in connection with multiple shootings in Memphis, Tenn.

memphis police department

CBS Memphis affiliate WREG-TV reports that the suspect got into a standoff while 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.

Kelly, 19, was released early from a prison sentence for aggravated assault, court records show, raising a sore point between the city’s mayor and the county’s top prosecutor, who spoke at a news conference early Thursday. was played in front of the cameras.

“It’s not a way for us to live and it’s not acceptable,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “If Mr. Kelly served his full three-year sentence, he would still be in prison today and four of our fellow citizens would still be alive,” he said.

Davis said the first murder occurred at 12:56 a.m. Wednesday, and that officers responded to three more crime scenes before receiving a tip at 6:12 p.m. that the suspect was threatening to harm civilians.

In a clip of the video, the suspect talks to the camera and shoots someone with a pistol before opening the door to an AutoZone store. The man was taken to the hospital in serious condition. In another, a man speaks to himself while driving – “green light, green light” – and sings “No Faking”. At one point, he shoots two rapid bullets through the driver’s window while driving. Referring to the police, he says that he will “get into the valley, shoot with them in the valley.”

The video was later removed from the platform, WREG reported.

Memphis police officers work at one of several crime scenes
Memphis police officers work at one of several crime scenes they believe were carried out by a man driving around in the September 7, 2022 shooting in Memphis, Tennessee.

Christine Tanaus/USA Today Network via Reuters

After three more shootings and two carjackings, police sent out alerts warning people to be on the lookout for an armed and dangerous man who was responsible for multiple shootings and was reportedly recording his actions on Facebook.

Police said he killed a woman in Memphis because he took his gray Toyota SUV, which he had left behind when he stole a man’s Dodge Challenger across the state line in Southaven, Mississippi.

Davis said Kelly was arrested without incident two hours after the initial police alert, when he crashed the Challenger during a speeding chase and two guns were found in the vehicle.

As the shooter terrorized the city, the buses stopped moving and the Memphis Redbirds cleared the field during their minor-league baseball game. Friends and relatives called and texted each other, and TV stations cut back on regular coverage with updates.

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 4 miles from the university, advised students on and off campus to take shelter in place. Kelly was eventually arrested about 11 miles from two campuses in the Memphis neighborhood of Whitehaven.

Before the arrest, Memphis police said on Twitter: “If you don’t want 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 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 The murder of a jogger kidnapped during a run before dawn.

Memphis City Council member Chase Carlisle said on Twitter: “I understand how nice it feels to experience so much violence and evil in such a short period of time.” “We are so much more than that.”

In February 2020, Kelly, then 17, was charged as an adult with first-degree attempted murder, aggravated assault, a dangerous felony with a deadly weapon and using a firearm for reckless endangerment, Show court records.

Records show that he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to three years in April 2021. The mayor said Kelly was released from prison in March, 11 months after his sentencing. Given the amount of time he spent waiting for his charges to be resolved, he probably got credit for the time he was given and was behind bars for more than two years.

Strickland thanked legislators for closing a revolving door this year by passing Tennessee’s “truth in punishment” law. The statute, which took effect after Kelly was freed, requires serving full sentences for various felonies, including attempted first-degree murder, driver intoxication, and vehicular homicide as a result of carjacking.

“Three years from now means three years for a furious attack,” the mayor said. “We need courts and additional state laws to stop this revolving door and I need the public to have their voices heard by those decision makers.”

Next to him were Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy, a fellow Democrat who was elected in August after arguing that sentencing laws do not reduce crime or help rehabilitate incarcerated people, and Tennessee’s prisons. Increases budget. Republican Governor Bill Lee, who favors criminal justice reform, allowed the measure to become law without his signature.

“I don’t want to get into a long policy debate tonight. I think tonight is a night to grieve and come together and express concern about this terrible week we’ve had. I can say normally What I’m saying all along – repeat violent criminals require a strong response,” Mulroy said.

Mulroy then reiterated his call for a holistic approach, including rehabilitation as well as longer sentences, so that people leave prison with the skills needed to avoid returning to a life of crime.

memphis man livestream random shooting
Police investigate carjackings allegedly linked to a series of shootings on September 7, 2022 in Memphis, Tenn.

Brad West / Getty Images

Source link