After four people were killed and three others were wounded in a series of gunshots in Memphis, Tennessee’s second-largest city was essentially paralyzed until police announced late Wednesday night that they had detained a 19-year-old suspect in the shootings.
City Mayor Jim Strickland spoke out against what he called a “senseless killing spree” at a press conference on Thursday morning. He voiced his displeasure with “our citizens who had to shelter on the location until this culprit was arrested. The current situation is intolerable and cannot continue. The residents of our city have endured the kind of violence that no one should be exposed to.”
The Memphis Police Department has named Ezekiel Kelly as the suspect in a shooting that they say involved at least eight separate locations and extended into neighboring Mississippi.
He was escorted to be formally lodged into prison where he was expected to face multiple criminal accusations.
A shooting was reported on Facebook Live at around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, prompting police to begin a manhunt and advise neighbours to remain inside. Memphis tweeted, “If you don’t have to be out, please stay home!”
The Memphis Area Transit Authority has suspended all bus and trolley service due to the threat posed by a guy who was seen driving around the city randomly shooting at people. Already shaken by the kidnapping and murder of a jogger who was found near campus, the University of Memphis has gone into lockdown.
Chief Cerelyn (CJ) Davis of the Memphis Police Department gave a press conference in which he outlined Mr. Kelly’s murderous rampage, beginning with the shooting death of a 24-year-old man in his driveway on the 3100 block of Lyndale Avenue at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday.
Two separate shootings were reported to police in Memphis about 4:30 p.m., she said. They say a man was shot and murdered in his car on East Parkway South. They said that a second incident occurred on Norris Road near the southbound exit to Interstate 240, when a woman was shot in the leg and afterwards transferred to a hospital in stable condition.
Around 6pm, Mr Kelly was on Facebook Live when he went into an AutoZone store, gravely injuring a guy, authorities said. Chief Davis stated that officers quickly learned of the video and began investigating Mr. Kelly and warning locals of the potential threat.
Authorities said he then took a woman in a car on Poplar Avenue and North Evergreen Street, fatally shooting her.
Chief Davis said there were two more shootings after that, one of which killed a woman and injured a guy. Another victimless automobile kidnapping.
Chris Smith, 47, first heard that a gunman was on the loose in Memphis while she was doing some grocery shopping at Walmart.
Ms. Smith explained, “All I could think of was I didn’t want to die in Walmart.” To paraphrase: “I left.”
Ms. Smith narrowly escaped a gunshot that occurred near her Poplar Avenue apartment complex, and when she returned home, she learned the terrifying details from neighbors and onlookers.
The shooter was cruising down the street when his automobile crashed. He then fled on foot, swerving between parked vehicles while brandishing a firearm. According to Ms. Smith, he allegedly encountered a female victim, dragged her from her vehicle, and shot her multiple times. A witness informed Ms. Smith that the gunman fled in a dark SUV while others tried to revive the victim.
Ms. Smith, 30, of Memphis, claims she was repeatedly mugged at gunpoint, and considering the widespread prevalence of gun violence in the United States, she is not shocked that this occurred in her hometown.