Another Memphis tragedy — live-streamed shooting spree puts city on lockdown
Days after Eliza Fletcher’s body was found, 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly kills four while filming on Facebook live
Wednesday evening, Memphis was on a citywide lockdown as a 19-year-old live-streamed a shooting spree that ended in a high-speed chase. Four people were killed, and three injured in what Mayor Jim Strickland called a “senseless murder rampage.”
The suspect in custody, Ezekiel Kelly, had been released from prison less than six months earlier, after being charged with attempted first-degree murder, according to Strickland’s statement. Kelly pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated assault and was sentenced to 3 years, but was released after 11 months.
How the shootings unfolded
At around 1 a.m., police officers responded to a call, and found a male victim in a driveway, he was pronounced dead at the scene, per CNN. This shooting was later linked to Kelly.
In the afternoon, Kelly allegedly shot a man in his car, and a woman in the leg, before streaming live to Facebook, where he entered an AutoZone store. Reuters reported that a video showed a man opening the door of a shop and firing twice at the first person he saw, but could not verify the video’s authenticity.
The police were alerted to this video shortly after and started alerting residents to the danger.
Memphis newspaper Commercial Appeal reported that Kelly fled through South Memphis and Midtown, shooting a woman and stealing her car before injuring a man close by, at around 7:23 p.m.
The Memphis Area Transit Authority suspended trolley and bus services during the lockdown.
Kelly would allegedly go on to kill a woman in Westwood, cross the Mississippi border and steal a car before heading back into Memphis. After a 30-minute high-speed chase, Kelly crashed the stolen car and was taken into custody at 9:27 p.m., police said.
A painful week for Memphis
Strickland said, “this has been a painful week in our city.” Just Monday, the body of a kindergarten teacher was found. Eliza Fletcher, 34, was abducted on an early morning jog, and her body was left behind a vacant duplex in South Memphis, per The New York Times. One man has been arrested in the case.