City officials address city-wide shooting spree arrest
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - City leaders held a press conference at midnight Thursday morning following the arrest of 19-year-old suspect Ezekiel Kelly.
After an hours-long shooting rampage across the Memphis metropolitan area on Wednesday evening, three people were killed and four others injured, officials say.
They say multiple felony charges are pending for Kelly.
“I want to first, express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families who are suffering from this senseless murder rampage,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “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. This is no way for us to live and it is not acceptable.”
Strickland cited the truth in sentencing law as a factor in preventing losses like those suffered Wednesday.
In April 2021, Kelly was charged with attempted first-degree murder, but that charge was changed to a lesser charge of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to three years in prison, but only served 11 months.
Kelly was released in March of 2022.
“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,” Strickland said.
“I am outraged by this lawlessness and senseless violence,” said Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner. “Thank you to all of the law enforcement agencies and first responders who helped apprehend this individual.”
Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis extended appreciation to citizens for providing tips for this case.
She also expressed that law enforcement needs the community’s help in curbing repeat violent offenders.
District Attorney General Steve Mulroy also urged the public to reach out to those they know to be in emotional distress.
“Repeat offenders deserve a strong response,” Mulroy said.
“I am going to pray.”
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