MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It wasn’t just the city of Memphis that was affected by the shooting rampage on Sept. 7, 2022.
The city of Southaven, Mississippi, was on high alert. That includes the Police Chief Macon Moore.
“I had gotten home, and most of my staff had gone home. We were obviously following on the news, we were getting email updates from MPD, Shelby County– texting back and forth with friends with MPD,” he recalled.
Chief Moore knew there was a chance the gunman could move into Southaven.
“We’ve got eleven entrances into our city from Memphis, and we had no information or intelligence leading us to believe that he was coming here. But if he did try to come here, we would be prepared to keep him out of our city,” Moore said.
Shortly after the city of Memphis was put on lockdown, Chief Moore got back to work — and got an alarming phone call.
“I put my uniform back on, I hopped back in my car,” Moore said. “I was on Church Road coming back in, and a friend of mine with MPD called me, emotional. He said, ‘Look, he may have been spotted on Raines Road, and he could be coming to your city.’”
“We activated our SWAT team. We activated 22 detectives. All administration was coming out, and pretty much anybody that was an on-call person, we activated to come out. Our plan was to line every entrance up and try to seal the city off.”
But Ezekiel Kelly was already in Southaven before officers could stop him.
Officers say he pulled into the Raceway gas station on Stateline Road and pulled up next to 21-year-old Demetrick Porter, who instantly recognized Kelly from his Facebook Live.
Porter ran away. That’s when he says he saw Kelly stealing his car.
He found a Southaven Police officer inside the gas station and said his car had been taken by the guy everyone was looking for.
Southaven Police were then alerted to look for Porter’s Dodge Charger.
“Our lieutenant puts out that he’s getting on Stateline, he is going northbound on (Interstate) 55, so I’m on northbound 55, and I just go as fast as I could go to try to catch up with him. I can see him getting on the interstate,” Moore said.
Moore tried to catch Kelly but lost him near the Shelby Drive exit.
“I’ve thought about this a lot,” he said. “Had I been 30 seconds quicker putting my shoes on, 30 seconds, I could have been right on top of him.”
More officers joined the chase as Kelly moved back into Memphis.
“Criminals don’t have geographical boundaries, they don’t have jurisdictional boundaries, and we can’t let those bother us, either,” Moore said.
Porter’s stolen car crashed within minutes, and Kelly was taken into custody.
“That night, we were prepared to do what he had to do to keep him out of our city,” Moore said. “He posed a huge risk to the citizens of the metropolitan area, and our troops were prepared to do what we had to do to stop him.”