Memphis police arrest suspect in shooting rampage that killed 4

A young man who killed at least four people in an hour-long shootout around Memphis, Tennessee was arrested Wednesday night, police said.

According to Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, 19-year-old Ezekiel DeJuan Kelly was taken into custody without incident in the Memphis neighborhood of Whitehaven at 9 p.m. local time.

Davis said the deadly violence that began at 12:56 a.m. Wednesday continued until about 8:30 p.m., taking a total of seven shootings across the city, killing at least four people and injuring three others.

According to the police chief, after a shootout, the suspect at gunpoint in Southven, Mississippi, south of Memphis, drove a driver into the victim’s Dodge Challenger at high speed and overtook a stolen SUV from a woman he had previously was shot. , Davis said the carjacking victim was not injured.

“The homicide department and other investigative units are now actively working at these crime scenes, and there are several serious charges pending,” Davis told reporters at a press conference early Thursday.

“It’s at least eight [crime scenes], “They said.” We are still under investigation. There could potentially be other places as well. There could potentially be further damage elsewhere.”

Court records obtained by Memphis ABC affiliate WATN indicate that an arrest warrant was issued for Kelly on charges of first-degree murder on the Wednesday before the shooting spree.

The police chief said that Kelly recorded some of his actions on Facebook Live, including setting fire to the inside of a store on Jackson Avenue just before 6 p.m., a spokesperson for Facebook’s parent company Meta told ABC News. The material was identified and removed prior to the Memphis Police Department’s initial public alert about the incident. The spokesperson added that Meta was also “in direct contact with the Memphis Police Department when they issued their initial public alert.”

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, US.

Christine Tanus / USA Today via Net / Reuters

According to Davis, police had launched a city-wide search for the suspect and advised people to seek shelter.

“We express our deepest condolences to all the victims who have been affected in this sequence of violent acts today,” the police chief said. “We would like to express our sincere appreciation to our citizens who made many suggestions throughout this trial.”

As the gunman terrorized the city, the Memphis Area Transit Authority temporarily suspended trolley and bus services “out of an abundance of caution and care to protect the safety of its drivers and riders.”

Police did not discuss a possible motive or release the identities of the victims. It is also not clear how the suspect obtained the guns.

The stampede was the latest in a string of violence to hit Memphis in recent days and weeks, including the murder of a woman who was kidnapped last Friday while on a pre-dawn walk.

“It’s been a terrible week for the city of Memphis and the Memphis Police Department,” Davis told reporters.

Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner said: “I want to reassure the public that we are all going to work together to try to stop this senseless violence here in Memphis and Shelby County.”

In February 2020, Kelly, who was 17 at the time, was charged as an adult with first-degree attempted murder, aggravated assault, a dangerous felony and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, according to court records. was charged with using a firearm. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to three years in prison in April 2021. According to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, he was released from prison after 11 months in March.

“I would like to first express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families who are suffering from this senseless massacre,” Strickland told reporters. “I’m angry for them. And I’m angry for our citizens, who had to take shelter for their own safety until this suspect is caught. This is no way for us to live and it is not acceptable.”

ABC News’ Gianna Cousin and Will Gretzky contributed to this report.

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