Turmoil and fear continued to stalk the city of Memphis on Friday as police sought two men over what they termed “terroristic threats.”
Last week, a mom was robbed after she and her baby were kidnapped at gunpoint. Days later, the kidnapping and killing of 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher convulsed the Tennessee city until a suspect was arrested in connection with her death. On Wednesday, a day of violence erupted in shootings that led to the arrest of Ezekiel Kelly, 19, after a spree in which four people died.
In the aftermath of the violence, a video posted to social media came to the attention of police, who warned the community not to brush it off as empty blustering.
“On Thursday, September 8, 2022, the Memphis Police Department was advised of threats of violence directed at members of our community,” Memphis police posted on the department’s Facebook page.
“These terroristic threats were posted on social media platforms and specific threats to events occurring in the City of Memphis.
“The two suspects making the threats are described as two black males between the ages of 18 to 21 years of age. Investigators need assistance identifying the individuals in the video,” the police post said.
MPD needs help with identifying these individuals who are making threats to community members.
If you have any information on who these individuals are, call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH. pic.twitter.com/vcjRffqaNd
— Memphis Police Dept (@MEM_PoliceDept) September 8, 2022
The nearby community of Germantown also is on alert due to the video, according to a police post on Twitter.
“The Germantown Police Department is aware of a video and several concerning posts on social media. Our citizens have done a fantastic job of keeping us informed when they come across these threatening posts,” the department posted.
The video was shot as two black males appear to be driving in a car. During the video, references are made to Kelly and Fletcher.
Although some of the video is barely intelligible, the two men talk of violence between whites and blacks.
“He already shot a white hoe,” the driver says at one point. “Man, I’m fixin’ to shoot a white old lady, sh—….while her grandkids in the car.”
“He already shot a white hoe. Man, I’m fixin’ to shoot a white old lady, sh—….while her grandkids in the car.”
Video of the Memphis men discussing shooting whites. They name the suspected gunman (Ezekiel “Zeek”) who went on a shooting spree yesterday. pic.twitter.com/TfDL3tGCIc
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) September 8, 2022
Memphis police said if an arrest is made based on information from a tipster, the tipster could get a reward of up to $2,000.
The violence that led to lockdowns during the hunt for Kelly has Memphis City Councilman Frank Colvett saying he is horrified at what is happening to the city, according to WREG-TV.
“At this point, I am sick and tired of elected officials wringing their hands and saying, ‘Oh, no, there’s nothing we can do. Or oh, gosh! Isn’t this terrible’ and not offering a solution, because at what point is the tragedy going to hit home for them personally?” he said.
“We are past time for excuses,” said Colvett, who favors more police on the streets. “We ask the question. We ask the professionals. What do you need? How much is it going to cost? Here’s the checkbook. Get it done.”
“I think people are overwhelmed, and I think they’re scared, and I think they’re looking for answers as to why this is happening and how do we curb it,” said Chase Carlisle, a city councilman.
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