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Memphis Mayor Blasts Shooting Suspect's Early Prison Release: 'Four of Our Citizens Would Still Be Alive'

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Police arrested a 19 year-old suspect, Ezekiel Kelly, in connection to the shooting rampage across Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday, which left four people dead and another three injured.


The shootings reportedly took place across eight locations, with the suspect streaming at least one of the attacks on Facebook Live. The manhunt practically shut down the entire city, with residents warned to stay indoors, some public transit suspended, and the University of Memphis on lockdown as police searched for him.

At the news conference, Chief Cerelyn (C.J.) Davis of the Memphis Police Department laid out a detailed timeline of the shooting spree, saying that Mr. Kelly’s crimes started just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, when a 24-year-old man was shot and killed in his driveway in the 3100 block of Lyndale Avenue.

By about 6 p.m., Mr. Kelly was on Facebook Live when he barged into an AutoZone store and critically wounded a man, the authorities said. Officers were soon alerted about the video and started investigating Mr. Kelly and alerting residents to the potential danger, Chief Davis said.

The authorities said that he then carjacked a woman, fatally shooting her in the process, at Poplar Avenue and North Evergreen Street.

Two more shootings occurred after that, Chief Davis said, that left another woman dead and one man injured. Another person was also carjacked, though uninjured. (NYT)


According to court records, the suspect was previously charged for attempted murder. He pled guilty to a lesser, aggravated assault charge, but only served 11 months of a three-year sentence. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland blasted his early release and said lives would have been saved if he were still behind bars.

“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,” the mayor said.

The shooting spree comes the same week a Memphis teacher was abducted and killed while jogging.

“This has been a painful week in our city,” Strickland said. 

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