Memphis shooting rampage: Suspect in custody after 4 killed, 3 wounded – USA TODAY

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Mourning and anger enveloped the city Thursday as authorities sought the motive for a gunman’s daylong, livestreamed shooting spree that left four people dead and three wounded.
The carnage began early Wednesday. As the day progressed, residents in some areas were told to shelter in place, public bus service was suspended, and many restaurants and other public places were shut down as the desperate search for the assailant intensified. 
Ezekiel Dejuan Kelly, 19, was captured Wednesday evening after a carjacking in neighboring Mississippi. 
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland expressed outrage that Kelly had been charged with criminal attempted first-degree murder two years ago but pleaded guilty in April 2021 to the lesser charge of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to three years in prison but served just over two years, including credit for the time he was jailed before his plea, and was released in March.
If Kelly had served his full sentence, he would still be in prison “and four of our fellow citizens would still be alive,” said Strickland, who called the criminal justice system “a revolving door” and expressed condolences to the victims and their families.
“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,” Strickland said in a statement. “This is no way for us to live and it is not acceptable.”
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Memphis has been shaken by several incidents in recent weeks, including the killing of a pastor during a carjacking, the slaying of an activist during an argument over money and the high-profile abduction and murder of Eliza Fletcher, a 34-year-old teacher and mother of two.
Mary Dudley, watching police working behind crime scene tape at one of Wednesday’s shooting sites, said she was not surprised this happened in Memphis.
“Living in Memphis is like living in every episode of Breaking Bad,” Dudley said.
Police received a tip that Kelly was on Facebook Live threatening to “cause harm to citizens,” Memphis police Chief Cerelyn Davis said. Police issued an alert a short time later, advising people to stay indoors while they searched for the suspect.
Reports rolled in that the gunman was posting videos of his attacks on Facebook. News of the alleged shootings spread across social media, where users reposted screen recordings of the shooting suspect’s footage.
Facebook videos Kelly posted were removed from the platform that night. Kelly’s Instagram account was also taken down Wednesday night.
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A police affidavit says the first attack took place shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday. Three people said they saw Kelly fatally shoot Dewayne Tunstall in the head as Tunstall was visiting with friends at a home in Memphis. According to the affidavit, Kelly pulled Tunstall aside and, during their conversation, drew a handgun and fired several shots. 
Davis said officers responded to three more crime scenes before receiving the tip that the suspect was livestreaming himself and threatening to hurt people.
At 8:53 p.m. Wednesday, police in Southaven, Mississippi, tweeted that officers responded to a vehicle theft at a local gas station. Police swarmed the area, a few miles south of Memphis, and Kelly was arrested when he crashed, ending a high-speed chase.
Police did not reveal a motive for the attacks. The identities of the victims were not immediately released, but the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported two of them were Tunstall, 24, and Allison Parker, a nurse in West Memphis, Arkansas.
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Two cars were stolen during the rampage, police said. A downtown stadium where a minor-league baseball game was underway was placed on lockdown. TV stations cut into regular coverage to keep viewers updated. Friends and relatives called and texted to check on each others’ safety. The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) suspended bus and trolley services.
“MATA leaders are acting in an abundance of caution and care for the safety of its drivers and riders,” the public transit service said in a news release Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.
It was not until the news conference at midnight that authorities painted a fuller picture of Kelly’s suspected actions, spanning several violent crimes across many miles of Memphis neighborhoods and into Mississippi. 
“This has been a horrific week for the city of Memphis and the Memphis Police Department,” Davis said. 
Bacon reported from Arlington, Va. Contributing: Samuel Hardiman, Laura Testino, Astrid Kayembe, Lucas Finton, Memphis Commercial Appeal; The Associated Press


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