A tally of terror: 6 shot, 3 dead in gunman’s daylong, cross-city rampage

By , Daily Memphian Updated: September 29, 2022 1:48 PM CT | Published: September 08, 2022 1:36 AM CT

Editor’s note: On Wednesday, Sept. 7, a single suspect allegedly shot several individuals at different locations across the city of Memphis. The Memphis Police Department originally reported that seven individuals were shot during the day, and four succumbed to their injuries. MPD later revised its information and said a 17-year-old female victim shot on West Raines Road around 7 p.m. was not a victim of the mass shooter.

A daylong, citywide rampage that began at 12:56 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, resulted in six people shot and three dead. 

The person believed to be responsible for all of these shootings is Ezekiel Kelly, a man who was released early from a three-year sentence fewer than six months ago.

He had been charged with a criminal attempt of first degree murder charge in 2020 but pleaded guilty in April 2021 to a lesser charge of aggravated assault. He only served 11 months in prison.

Shooting suspect seems to have charges stemming from 2020

The first reported shooting Wednesday occurred in the early morning hours on the 3100 block of Lyndale in the Heights. A 24-year-old male was pronounced deceased on the scene. 

The next two shootings came later but happened only a minute apart from each other. 

At 4:35 p.m., police responded to a shooting at 946 South Parkway E., where a male victim was located with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

At 4:36 p.m., a shooting occurred on Norris Road near Interstate 240 southbound ramp. The female victim was transported to the hospital in critical condition. She was later listed as non-critical.

Then a man was shot at an AutoZone store at 4011 Jackson Ave. at 5:59 p.m. in North Memphis. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition. According to a Facebook post of someone who knows him, he suffered gunshot wounds to his intestines.

At 6:12 p.m., police received a call from a concerned citizen about a Facebook Live video recorded by Kelly showing him shooting the victim at AutoZone. 

Police posted a warning on Twitter at 7 p.m. advising Memphians to watch out for Kelly, who was driving a light blue Infiniti.

At 7:23, he carjacked and shot a female victim at Poplar Avenue and Evergreen Street. She was pronounced dead.

He took her grey SUV down the road, and at Poplar Avenue and McLean Boulevard at 7:24 p.m., he shot a male victim who was transported to the hospital in non-critical condition. 

It was originally reported by MPD that at 8:55 p.m., Kelly shot a female on the 800 block of West Raines, who died at the scene. MPD later revised its information and said the female victim was not part of the mass shooting but was shot by someone else.

Shooting suspect captured in Whitehaven

By 8:56 p.m., he made his way to Southaven and carjacked a victim at gunpoint for their grey Dodge Challenger. The victim was uninjured.

At 8:58 p.m., a Memphis police officer spotted the Dodge Challenger traveling northbound on Interstate 55 from State Line Road where a high speed pursuit began and ended at Hodge Road and Ivan Road in Whitehaven.

Kelly, who had two firearms on him, was taken into custody. 

At a midnight press conference, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said, “I’m angry for our citizens who had to shelter in place for their own safety until this suspect was caught. This is no way for us to live, and it is not acceptable. The people of our city were confronted with the type of violence no one should have to face.”

Strickland encouraged citizens to contact their state legislators and stay engaged with the judicial process: “I want the public to hold all of us accountable, me included.”

District Attorney General Steve Mulroy added, “It’s our policy that repeat violent offenders deserve a strong response. And that’s precisely what they’ll get from the DA’s office.”

Mulroy also encouraged citizens to reach out to support friends or loved ones who may display violent emotional distress and contact law enforcement if appropriate.

Memphis Police Department Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis said, “Certainly, people are hurting right now. People are suffering from various types of illnesses and stress and they are absolutely demonstrating these levels of stress in violent ways.

“This has been a horrific week for the city of Memphis and Memphis Police Department,” she said. “We extend our sincere condolences to all the victims who have been affected in this sequence of violent acts today. We want to express our sincere appreciation to our citizens who provided numerous tips throughout this ordeal. I would also like to thank the officers of the Memphis Police Department and other law enforcement agencies who assisted in the relentless pursuit and the successful arrest of Ezekiel Kelly.”

Strickland said despite the violence of the last week, there are bright spots in the city of Memphis. He said the city’s population has grown for the first time in decades and the employment rate is at its highest in history.

“I have love for Memphis and I know that united we will endure,” he said.

Due to the nature of this story, comments have been disabled.



Shooting Ezekiel Kelly Memphis Police Department Whitehaven Frayser Binghampton Mayor Jim Strickland Cerelyn "C.J." Davis District Attorney General Steve Mulroy
Julia Baker

Julia Baker

Julia Baker covers Memphis and Shelby County’s law enforcement agencies and is a member of The Daily Memphian’s public safety reporting team. A lifelong Memphian, Julia graduated from the University of Memphis in 2021. Other publications and organizations she has written for include Chalkbeat, Memphis Flyer, Memphis Parent magazine and Memphis magazine.

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