Police say recent shooting spree was the result of domestic violence

Published: Nov. 19, 2023 at 11:59 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - “This devastated a whole entire family tonight,” said Officer Chris Williams, Public Information Officer for the Memphis Police Department.

Field Lark Drive, Warrington Road, and Howard Drive were all areas on Mavis Christian Jr.’s shooting spree Saturday night.

Police said 3636 Field Lark Drive is where a woman and two teen girls were shot. The woman and 13-year-old girl died on the scene. The 15-year-old is still in critical condition at Regional One Health.

Nearly 13 miles away is where police said Christian Jr. shot and killed a woman at 5050 Warrington Road.

At the time police were not sure if the two shootings were connected.

Through further investigations, they discovered Christian Jr. was the shooter at those two shootings and the third just 11 miles away at 196 Howard Drive where a woman was shot and killed.

A manhunt with local, state, and federal agencies began.

Court records show in February 2018 police were called to an incident at the same home on Howard Drive where he was charged with multiple charges including aggravated assault and domestic assault-bodily harm.

“Each case is different, but for that person to be able to protect themselves is not always easy,” said Marquiepta Odom-Williams, executive director at YWCA Greater Memphis.

Documents explain that his estranged wife told police Christian Jr “punched her three times in the face causing her to lose consciousness” after an argument about him leaving the home on Howard Drive in 2018.

Police said the shootings Saturday night were a result of domestic violence.

“We see a lot of domestic violence but even in what we actually see it’s 9 times out of 10 it’s not the correct count because there are so many unreported cases,” Odom-Williams said.

Organizations like the YWCA Greater Memphis are seeing an increase in women looking for safe spaces to get out of domestic violence situations.

“Our bed nights have been extremely high. For the 2022 – 2023 fiscal year that ended June 30 we had 19,039 bed nights,” the executive director said.

Odom-Williams said the organization usually only hosts around 14,000 bed nights to help women find a safe space outside of a domestic violence issue.

Data from the Memphis Crime Commission shows a 0.8% increase in domestic violence incidents compared to 2022.

Police found Christian Jr. Around 3:30 Sunday morning with a self-inflicted gunshot. He died on the scene.

For those needing information on domestic violence resources when not in an emergency call YWCA’s domestic violence crisis hotline at 901-725–4277.

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