WATCH: Mayor Strickland talks with Action News 5 one day after violent spree

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 12:00 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland sat down with Action News 5 one day after a violent crime spree shook the city of Memphis.

Ezekiel Kelly, 19, was taken into custody after an hours-long hunt by Memphis Police Department and other departments who assisted.

Kelly is accused of shooting seven people. Four of those shooting victims have since died. The shooting spree spread all across the city before Kelly crashed a stolen car in Whitehaven and was arrested.

Strickland was apart of a midnight press conference following Kelly’s arrested and expressed condolences for the victims and an outrage for the compromised safety of the residents of Memphis.

Hours later, Strickland sat down with Andrew Douglas to discuss what can be done to help. You can watch the full interview above.

The mayor said Kelly had an extensive criminal background going back to when he was just 11 years old. Kelly was sentenced to three years in prison after being charged with attempted murder in 2020. He served 11 months of that sentence and was released in March.

“Had this man served his entire three-year sentence, he would still be in prison this morning and those four human beings would be alive,” Strickland said. “There’s no mandatory jail time in Tennessee for someone who shoots another person. None. They can get probation. That’s outrageous.”

Strickland is calling on people to contact their state representatives and the judicial system to help make sure the stiff penalties are part of the sentence for violent crimes across the state.

The mayor says truth in sentencing legislation can help curb incidents like this one.

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