A young man who went on for hours shooting around Memphis, Tennessee, shooting dead at least four people, was arrested Wednesday night, police said.
Ezekiel Dejuan Kelly, 19, was taken into custody without incident in the Memphis neighborhood of Whitehaven around 9 p.m. local time after a high-speed chase, according to Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis.
The deadly rampage began early Wednesday at 12:56 a.m. and continued until around 8:30 p.m. A total of at least four people were killed and three others injured in seven shootings across the city, Davis said.
After the shooting, the suspect hijacked a driver at gunpoint in Southaven, Mississippi, just south of Memphis, speeding into the victim’s Dodge Challenger, Davis said, adding that the victim of the carjacking car was not injured. The suspect left behind an SUV stolen from a woman he allegedly shot and killed earlier in the night, according to the police chief.
“The Homicide Division and other investigative units are currently actively working on these crime scenes, and numerous felony charges are pending,” Davis told reporters at a news conference early Thursday.
“It’s at least eight [crime scenes]“, she added. “We are still in full investigation. There might be other locations. There could be further damage in other places.”
Court records obtained by Memphis ABC affiliate WATN indicate that a first-degree murder warrant was issued for Kelly on Wednesday, before the shooting occurred.
The police chief said Kelly recorded at least some of his actions on Facebook Live, including when he opened fire at a store on Jackson Avenue just before 6 p.m. A spokesperson for Facebook parent company Meta told ABC News that the content was identified and removed. before the Memphis Police Department’s initial public alert about the incident. Meta was also “in direct contact with the Memphis Police Department shortly after issuing its first public alert,” the spokesperson said.
Police had launched a citywide search for the suspect and advised members of the public to shelter in place, according to Davis.
“We send our sincere condolences to all of the victims who have been affected by this sequence of violent acts today,” the police chief said. “We would like to express our sincere appreciation to our fellow citizens who have provided so much guidance throughout this ordeal.”
As the shooter terrorized the city, the Memphis Area Transit Authority temporarily suspended streetcar and bus services out of “excess caution and concern for the safety of its drivers.”
Police have not discussed a possible motive or released the identities of the victims. It is also not known how the suspect obtained the weapons.
The rampage was the latest in a string of violence to hit Memphis in recent days and weeks, including the murder of a woman who was abducted last Friday while out for a predawn jog.
“It’s been a horrible week for the city of Memphis and the Memphis Police Department,” Davis told reporters.
Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner added, “I want to assure the public that we are all going to work together to try to stop this senseless violence here in Memphis and in Shelby County.”
In February 2020, Kelly, who was 17 at the time, was charged as an adult with attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a crime dangerous and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced in April 2021 to three years behind bars. He was released from prison 11 months later, in March, according to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
“I want, I want to first express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families who are suffering from this senseless massacre,” Strickland told reporters. “I’m angry for them. And I’m angry for our citizens who had to shelter in place for their own safety until this suspect was arrested. This is not a way of life for us and it’s not acceptable.”
ABC News’ Jianna Cousin and Will Gretsky contributed to this report.