On Wednesday, police in Memphis, Tennessee, said they had apprehended the suspect in the hours-long shooting spree that left four dead and terrified residents hiding indoors.
A spokesperson for the Memphis Police Department said that 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly was arrested in the Whitehaven neighborhood at around 9 o’clock on Tuesday night and booked on first-degree attempted murder charges in 2020. At a press conference early on Thursday, Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said charges were pending.
According to Davis, there were seven separate gunshots in Memphis, resulting in four deaths and three injuries. At 12:56 a.m. on Wednesday, the rampage started and lasted until about 8:30 p.m.
Davis said there were at least eight crime scenes in Southaven, Mississippi, between the seven shootings and the carjacking of a Dodge Challenger. When Kelly lost control of his vehicle in Southaven, Mississippi, just south of Memphis, he was apprehended by police.
About two hours before, police had issued a warning that a man in a light blue Infiniti was responsible for a string of shootings across the city. After stealing a Dodge Challenger in Southaven, police say he killed a woman in Memphis and drove off in her grey Toyota SUV. According to the police, he had video of his crimes posted on Facebook META, +1.17%.
While the shooter was loose in Memphis, the city’s public transportation system was shut down, and a minor league baseball game in progress was moved to a secure location downtown. People contacted and texted each other desperately, concerned for each other’s well-being. TV stations cut into regular news to keep viewers updated.
Davis added that the police had received “many tips” from the public.
When a shooting was reported close to the University of Memphis campus, an alert was sent out to students. Rhodes College, located around four miles from the university, issued a similar warning to its students.
Kelly was detained in a neighborhood that was located between the University of Memphis and Rhodes College, both of which were roughly 12 miles apart.
Before the arrest was made, police in Memphis posted a tweet urging residents to stay inside until the situation was addressed.
Police did not disclose a motive or divulge the identities of individuals who were slain or wounded. Ali Roberts, the acting assistant special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in Memphis, stated that it was too early in the investigation to reveal how the suspect obtained the pistol or guns used in the shootings.
Memphis has been shocked by numerous high-profile deaths in recent weeks, including the shooting of a pastor during a daylight carjacking in her driveway, the shooting of an activist after an argument over money, and the slaying of a woman who was taken while she was on a pre-dawn run.
Memphis City Councilman Chase Carlisle remarked on Twitter, “I realize it feels like so much violence and evil to experience in such a short period of time.” To paraphrase, “We are SO much more than this.”
Kelly, who was 17 at the time, was tried as an adult in February 2020 and charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, using a firearm to commit a dangerous felony, and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. Circumstances of the case were not immediately known.
According to court documents, he entered a guilty plea and was given a three-year term for aggravated assault in April of 2021. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland reported that Kelly was released from prison in March, 11 months after his sentence.