Police here say a man who drove about the city shooting at people, killing four, during an hourslong spree that led scared locals to hide in place Wednesday has been caught.
Ezekiel Kelly, 19, who was charged with attempted first-degree murder as an adult in 2020, was apprehended in the Whitehaven district of Memphis at 9 p.m., according to police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph. Charges were pending, according to Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, director of the Memphis Police Department.
According to Davis, there were seven gunshots around Memphis that left four individuals dead and three others injured. The attack started at 12:56 a.m. on Wednesday and lasted until around 8:30 p.m. The seven gunshots plus the carjacking of a Dodge Challenger in Southaven, Mississippi, totaled at least eight crime sites, according to Davis.
After crashing during a high-speed chase from Mississippi back to Memphis, the suspect was apprehended. It happened after the carjacking in Memphis’ southern neighbor, Southaven.
The defendant engaged in a standoff in Memphis, according to CBS Memphis station WREG-TV, by refusing to exit the car, which police encircled. The SWAT Team was requested to help. According to Memphis police, the offender was apprehended with the assistance of Shelby County Sheriff’s officers.
About two hours after police issued a warning that a man driving a light blue Infiniti was responsible for numerous shootings in the city, the man was apprehended. Police said that after robbing the Dodge Challenger in Southaven, he subsequently murdered a woman in Memphis and stole her gray Toyota SUV. Police said that he posted videos of his conduct on Facebook.
A WREG employee saw a Facebook Live video in which the suspect could be seen stepping out of a car, entering an AutoZone, and opening fire. Later, the platform deleted the video.
Public transportation was suspended while the shooter terrorized Memphis, and a minor league baseball game was being played in a downtown stadium when it was put on lockdown. Friends and family members quickly texted and contacted one another to inquire about their well-being. TV networks interrupt normal coverage to notify viewers.
Throughout the incident, police got “several tips” from the general public, according to Davis. Students at the University of Memphis received a message stating that a shooting had been reported nearby.
Four miles from the institution, Rhodes College warned both on- and off-campus students to take cover. Rhodes College and the University of Memphis are both 12 miles from the place where the suspect was detained.
Before the arrest, Memphis police tweeted, “If you do not have to be out, stay inside until this is addressed.” The identity of those who were slain or injured or any discussion of a motive were withheld by the police.
According to Ali Roberts, acting assistant special agent in charge of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in Memphis, it was too early in the investigation to talk about how the suspect obtained the pistol or firearms used in the shootings.
Memphis has recently been rocked by a number of high-profile homicides, including the shooting deaths of a pastor during a daytime carjacking in her driveway, an activist after a dispute over money, and a lady who was killed after being kidnapped and killed while out on a run in the early morning.
Chase Carlisle, a member of the Memphis City Council, wrote on Twitter, “I understand it feels like so much violence and evil to experience in such a short period.” We are SO much more than this, I tell you.
According to court documents, the defendant, who was 17 at the time, was charged as an adult in February 2020 with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, using a gun to conduct a serious offense, and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. Circumstances of the case weren’t immediately disclosed.
According to records, he admitted to aggravated assault and was given a three-year term in April 2021. According to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, the culprit was freed from jail in March, 11 months after being given a sentence.
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