The Memphis Police Department in Tennessee announced late on Wednesday that Ezekiel D. Kelly, who allegedly went on a shooting spree earlier in the day, killing four people, had been apprehended.
Aside from the four killed, three more people were wounded, and parts of Memphis were in lockdown for hours as Kelly, 19, apparently live-streamed the shooting spree that stretched across the city.
“I want to first express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families who are suffering from this senseless murder rampage,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement. “I’m angry for them, and I’m angry that our citizens had to shelter in place for their own safety until the suspect was caught. This is no way for us to live, and it is not acceptable.”
The rampage began at about 12:56 a.m. Wednesday and lasted until Kelly was captured Wednesday evening, MemphisPolice Chief Cerelyn Davis said. Davis said the crime scenes included seven shooting locations and a carjacking in Southaven, Mississippi.
After receiving a tip at 6:12 p.m. on September 7 that a man was live-streaming threats and firing a weapon on social media, the Memphis Police Department launched a citywide search for Kelly. During the search, residents were told to shelter in place, public bus service was suspended, and many restaurants and other public places were closed.
Southaven police tweeted that officers responded to a vehicle theft at a local gas station at 8:53 p.m. Officers swarmed the area. Kelly was apprehended after crashing during a high-speed chase in Southaven, Tennessee, a few miles south of Memphis.
Police did not reveal the motive for the attacks, and the victims’ identities were not immediately released.
“The people of our city were confronted with the type of violence no one should have to face,” Mayor Strickland said. “Ezekiel Kelly was charged with criminal attempted first-degree murder but pled guilty in April of 2021 to the lesser charge of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to three years but only served 11 months and was released on March 16, 2022 – less than six months ago.”
Strickland said if Kelly had served his complete three-year sentence, he would still be in prison, and the four victims would still be alive.