A Memphis, Tennessee man has been arrested after killing four people and wounding five more in a series of shootings he carried out around the city, which he was broadcasting on Facebook Live.
Ezekiel Kelly, 19, was arrested at 9:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday, 7. Kelly had started shooting the day before at 1 p.m., when he killed a man walking down the street. He then fired another eight shots that same day, until 8:30 at night.
Kelly committed the crimes, which included a pair of carjackings in his effort to avoid police, at eight different crime scenes. He was broadcasting his actions live on Facebook Live, but the company has already said that as soon as it identified what was going on, it cut the broadcast and removed the videos.
Sentenced to 3 years, served 11 months
The perpetrator has a criminal past. In a public appearance, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland explained that Ezekiel Kelly had been charged with first-degree murder, but that the justice system agreed to charge him with a lesser offense (aggravated assault) in exchange for his confession.
Kelly was sentenced to three years in prison. But he was released after serving only 11 months of his sentence, six months before committing this multiple bombing. Mayor Strickland has said in this regard: "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." And he added the following:
These evil actions show why truth in sentencing is a must, and we should do all we can to make our city safe. We must unite around this principle and stand up to the challenge of violent crime in our city.
Spreading panic throughout Memphis
As soon as the first reports of Kelly's criminal activity on the streets of Memphis began to come in, various authorities began to act. The Memphis City Council asked its citizens to stay off the streets if they did not have to.
If you do not need to be out, please stay home!
- City of Memphis (@CityOfMemphis) September 8, 2022
Memphis Area Transport Authority announced the suspension of bus and trolley services.
- Memphis Area Transit Authority (@RideMATA) September 8, 2022
The University of Memphis announced the closure of its facilities after learning that shots had been fired nearby.
- Kayla Solomon (@KSolomonReports) September 8, 2022