UPDATE: Memphis Police initially said Corteria Wright was one of the people killed in Wednesday night’s shooting rampage. Friday evening, Memphis Police announced that she was not a victim of the mass shooting, and that she was shot by another suspect.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG)– A 19-year-old man was arrested and charged Wednesday night after multiple shootings and carjackings across Memphis left four people dead and three injured in a violent rampage that lasted for hours, officials said.
The suspect, identified as Ezekiel Kelly, has been charged with first-degree murder. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said Kelly had been released from jail on March 16 after serving 11 months of a three-year sentence for an aggravated assault plea.
The first killing happened just after midnight, Police Chief CJ Davis said. At least one shooting was streamed on Facebook Live by the suspect. Kelly was taken into custody at 9:20 after a chase from Mississippi back into Memphis.
Memphis Police issued an alert at 6:56 p.m. warning people that Kelly was responsible for multiple active shootings. Police said they received reports he was recording his actions on Facebook. In a Facebook Live video seen by a WREG staff member, Kelly was seen getting out of a car, walking into the AutoZone on Jackson Avenue, and firing shots. The video was later removed from the platform.
WARNING: Graphic image in one of the photos below.
Police initially said Kelly was occupying a light blue Infiniti with a red dealer tag and a rear window busted out but later said Kelly carjacked a woman on Poplar and took off in a gray Toyota SUV.
A WREG staff member saw a person lying unresponsive at Poplar Avenue and Evergreen Street in Midtown. Police sources say this is where Kelly carjacked a woman. Witnesses report he shot her during the crime.
Later, police said Kelly stole a Dodge Challenger in Southaven, Mississippi before he was involved in a standoff in the area of Ivan Road and Hodge Road in Memphis. He refused to get out of the vehicle and police surrounded the vehicle. The SWAT Team was also called in to assist.
Memphis Police confirmed Kelly was taken into custody with the assistance of Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies around 9:20 p.m.
Police later listed the timeline of the shootings in detail:
- 12:56 a.m., a 24-year-old man was killed on Lyndale in the Highland Heights neighborhood. A suspect who called himself Zeek Huncho on social media was developed.
- 4:38 p.m., a man was found shot dead in a vehicle at a gas station on South Parkway E. Surveillance video revealed a man in a gray sedan pulled up next to the victim’s car and opened fire.
- 4:40 p.m., a woman was injured in a second shooting on Norris Road near I-240. The suspect fled in a dark sedan.
- 5:59 p.m. Kelly walked into an AutoZone store in the 4000 block of Jackson Avenue and shot a man while live-streaming on Facebook. The man was in critical condition, police said.
- 6:56 p.m., Memphis Police put out an alert on the suspect after receiving a call that Kelly was making threats on Facebook.
- 7:23 p.m., a woman was killed in a shooting at Poplar and Evergreen. Police said Kelly took her gray SUV and fled.
- 7:24 p.m., a man shot at Poplar and McLean
- 8:55 p.m., a woman shot dead on Raines Road
- 8:56 p.m., Southaven Police responded to a carjacking at Stateline Road and Highway 51. Kelly took the man’s gray Dodge Challenger and left the SUV behind.
- 8:58 p.m., Memphis Police officers spotted the Dodge Challenger going northbound on Interstate 55, and a high-speed pursuit began. The pursuit ended at Hodge Road and Ivan in southwest Memphis, where Kelly was taken into custody without incident.
Davis said numerous felony charges are pending against Kelly.
During the event, Rhodes College in Midtown was sheltered in place. The University of Memphis also sent an alert saying police have responded to shots fired in the area of Patterson and Southern. All lockdowns across the city were lifted after the arrest.
Local and state officials reacted to Wednesday night’s events and recent acts of violence. Read full statements here.