Suspected Memphis Shooter Ezekiel Kelly Should Still Be in Jail, But Was Given an Especially Early Release
The 19-year-old repeat offender charged in a shooting spree that left four dead and three wounded wounded in Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday had been released from prison early in March.
Police said Ezekiel Kelly led them on a chase in two states after the shootings, one of which he streamed on Facebook, according to CNN.
In 2020, when Kelly was 17, he faced two counts of attempted first-degree murder, possession of a firearm and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, according to The New York Times,
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said although Kelly was sentenced to three years in prison after a 2021 plea of guilty to a charge of aggravated assault, the Times reported. The sentence would have kept Kelly in jail through June 2024, but he only served 11 months and was set free in March.
UPDATE: Memphis police have identified the suspect who has been rampaging through the city shooting people at random and live-streaming on Facebook as 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly. https://t.co/qDG0VfMIqm
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) September 8, 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 at a news conference Wednesday, according to the Times.
Breaking: I looked into the criminal history of Ezekiel Kelly, the #Memphis gunman. Last year he was convicted of aggravated assault & sentenced to 3 years prison but was released early. His attempted murder & other felony charges were dismissed.
He was charged today with murder pic.twitter.com/MSg5fGnFOz
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) September 8, 2022
Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said the spree for which Kelly is now charged included eight crime scenes across the city of Memphis, according to Newsweek.
Kelly was a suspect in the 1 a.m. shooting that left a man dead in a driveway. More shootings took place after 4 p.m.
One shooting took place at about 6 p.m. at an AutoZone store, where Kelly was recording himself on Facebook Live, according to WREG-TV.
The video showed Kelly exiting his car, entering the store and firing shots. The video has since been removed. According to The New York Times, the man shot there is in critical condition.
This is sad. Memphis been through a lot this past week. From tonight with Ezekiel Kelly aka Zeek Huncho, to everything surrounding Eliza Fletcher who was abducted and murdered by Cleotha Abston. The people are emotionally exhausted and burnt out. Prayers up. pic.twitter.com/P1LuscYBuX
— That Guy Shane (@ProfanityNewz) September 8, 2022
Shortly before 7:30 p.m., a woman was shot dead during a carjacking that is linked to Kelly.
During the hunt for Kelly, police advised Memphis residents not to leave their homes unless travel was essential.
Kelly was arrested at about 9 p.m. after a crash during a chase that began in Southaven, Missisippi, after a carjacking, CNN reported.
19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly is finally in custody after going on a shooting spree while on Facebook Live in Memphis
— No Jumper (@nojumper) September 8, 2022
The incident is the lates in a series of high-profile crimes in Memphis.
On Aug. 31, a mom and baby were kidnapped at a Target store in Memphis and then released after the woman was robbed. On Friday, pre-school teacher Eliza Fletcher was abducted during a morning jog. Her body was found Monday.
“This is no way for us to live, and it is not acceptable,” Strickland said at Wednesday’s news conference, according to The Washington Post,
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