Police in Memphis, Tenn., arrested a 19-year-old repeat offender suspected of shooting four people and wounding at least three others during an apparent rampage on Wednesday afternoon. The suspect, Ezekiel Kelley, was also suspected in two armed carjackings that occurred while he was trying to escape from police.
Authorities said the rampage was spread out over at least eight different crime scenes. The series of gunfire was reported to have been recorded on Facebook Wednesday.
The suspect was taken into custody after a large-scale manhunt later in the evening. Police confirmed to he was arrested after driving a stolen vehicle in the area around Ivan Road and Hodge Road.
Memphis Police urged residents of that area to stay put. That order was lifted following his arrest.
Police said several criminal charges were pending against Kelley, who had a prior felony record. Mayor Jim Strickland revealed at a news conference that Kelly was charged with attempted first-degree murder, but pleaded guilty in April 2021 to a reduced charge of aggravated assault. Kelly was sentenced to three years in prison, but was released in March 2022, having served only 11 months of the prison term — a release that Mayor Strickland condemned on Wednesday evening.
Strickland said: These nefarious acts demonstrate why sentencing integrity is critical, and that we should be doing everything possible to keep our cities safe. “We need to rally behind that principle, and rise up against the challenges of violent crime in our cities. . The Mayor added: If Mr. Kelley had served the entire 3-year prison term, he would still be behind bars today, while four of our fellow citizens will still be alive.
The Memphis Police Department released a picture of Kelly, saying that he was driving a car with a red dealership tag and broken back windows. The car was described as either a Nissan or Infiniti.
It was reported that as of 7pm local time, there were at least two reports of shots fired. One occurred at a BP gas station, where a person was shot. Another left one woman wounded, news outlets reported. The shootings came as the town was shaken by the abduction and killing of Eliza Fletcher, a mother and teacher, while jogging on Friday morning. The suspect, Cleotha Henderson, is charged with first-degree murder, specifically, aggravated assault, and altering/faking evidence.
For more coverage on this story, check the following additional news sources:
- Suspect wanted for “multiple shootings” in Memphis captured following manhunt CBS News
- Memphis police arrest suspect in string of shootings recorded on Facebook Fox News
- Suspect in custody after hours-long chase across Memphis Action News 5
- Man wanted for Memphis shooting spree in custody, police say FOX13 Memphis
- Memphis police take 19-year-old into custody in connection with multiple shootings that prompted citywide warning to stay inside CNN