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Ezekiel Kelly: Police arrest teenage gunman accused of livestreaming shooting spree across Memphis


Police in Tennessee have arrested a teenage gunman, Ezekiel D Kelly, on suspicion of shooting multiple people in the city of Memphis while streaming some of the violence live on Facebook.

Concluding a furious multi-state police chase on early Thursday morning, the Memphis Police Department confirmed the 19-year-had been arrested late on Wednesday following four deaths, Reuters reported.

An hours-long shelter-in-place order was lifted for Memphis residents, the police department said.

Earlier in the day, the Memphis Police Department had issued an alert about the shootings, naming the suspect as Mr Kelly, who was described as “ARMED AND DANGEROUS.”

Unconfirmed copies of the alleged shooting videos on social media showed the individual claiming, “This s*** [is] for real,” and firing a gun in an AutoZone store. Other unconfirmed images of Mr Kelly appeared to show him posing with pistols and dollar bills.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday morning, Memphis Police Chief C J Davis said three people were injured and four people had died as a result of the shooting spree.

The victims were identified only as a 24-year-old man, another man, a woman who had her SUV stolen, and another woman who was killed by the gunman. The injured include a man, who police said was in critical condition, as well as another man and a woman, as WREG reported.

Police said the suspect had been released from prison on 16 March 2022 after serving 11 months of a three-year sentence for an aggravated assault plea.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, who called for prison sentences to be enforced in the wake of the shooting spree, told reporters: “If Mr Kelly had served his full three-year sentence he would still be in prison today and four of our fellow citizens would still be alive”.

He added that it was “not acceptable” for the city to be “terrorised” by “the type of violence no-one should have to face. This is no way for us to live”.

It remains unclear if Kelly, who FOX13 reports suffered injuries in a car chase, had a lawyer or had entered a plea on first-degree murder charges. 

He was thought to remain in custody after stealing two cars across Tennessee and neighbouring Mississippi, from where he returned to Memphis late on Wednesday and was apprehended in a police car chase.

The Independent has contacted the Memphis Police Department for more information.

The 19-year-old was indicted in 2020 on charges of attempted murder, weapons posession, and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. Mr Kelly was sentenced to three years in prison.

The violence comes the day after officials charged Cleotha Abston with murdering and kidnapping Eliza Fletcher, a Memphis-area school teacher, whose disappearance shocked the city.

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