Update

Shooting suspect captured in Whitehaven

By , Daily Memphian Updated: September 09, 2022 11:19 PM CT | Published: September 07, 2022 7:26 PM 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 gunman responsible for multiple shootings while traveling around the city and filming it on Facebook Live has been caught, police said. 

He was arrested after wrecking at the intersection of Hodge Road and Ivan Road. He has been placed into custody, according to DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office. 

According to a midnight press conference, the spree ran from 12:56 Wednesday morning to roughly 9 Wednesday night. The initial number of victims was incorrect, and has been amended to three killed and three injured.

At the time of the arrest, police asked that citizens to avoid the area.

After the arrest, the shelter-in-place order for the city was lifted.

Prior to the arrest, Memphis police had already identified the suspect as Ezekiel Kelly, 19.

Kelly entered a guilty plea to aggravated assault in 2021 as an adult after initially being charged with attempted first-degree murder, firearms in a violent crime and reckless. He is currently charged with one count of first-degree murder, but it is unclear whether that charge was applied before or after the shooting spree.

According to Tennessee Department of Correction records, Kelly had a combined sentence length of three years and was released March 16, 2022. Dorinda Carter, communications director for the TDOC, said Kelly served time at the Shelby County Correctional Center. 

As of 8 p.m., Kelly was still at large, according to police. Citizens were asked to stay indoors until the situation got resolved.

For a while, the Memphis Police Department said the suspect was believed to be in a grey Toyota with Arkansas plates AEV63K.

There were reports that Kelly drove to Arkansas, among them from KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, Arkansas, but the West Memphis police said that wasn’t true.

Police had asked citizens to call 911 immediately if they had any information on his whereabouts. 

There were videos on Facebook showing Kelly walking into an AutoZone store at 4100 Jackson Ave. in Frayser and shooting an unsuspecting man. The victim reportedly survived his injuries after being hit in the intestines and had surgery. He has another surgery in two days.

Another victim was seen by a Daily Memphian reporter and photographer on Poplar Avenue near Auburndale. The victim’s identity and the circumstances surrounding the death are unclear at this time.

Police had at one time blocked off an area near Poplar Avenue and Evergreen Street in Midtown. There were rumors of a carjacking.

Shortly after 9 p.m. police converged near Hodge and Ivan roads:

During the emergency, MATA announced it was suspending both its bus and trolley services indefinitely.

“MATA leaders are acting in an abundance of caution and care for the safety of its drivers,” it said in a press release.

University of Memphis police also announced Wednesday night that the school would be on lockdown due to the situation.

Campus police insisted that there was no threat to the campus community but that shots were fired near Patterson Street and Southern Avenue.

“There is no threat currently at the University. However, the Memphis Police Department has asked that everyone stay off the streets until they apprehend the suspect who has been shooting randomly across the city,” campus police said in a press release.

All doors on campus were locked and officers were on patrol.

Rhodes College issued a shelter-in-place alert to its students at 7:47 p.m. via text. The text read, “Everyone on and off campus shelter in place. Police have active scenes across midtown. More information to follow.”

Throughout, the city urged citizens to stay home.

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

Daily Memphian reporters Ben Wheeler, Aarron Fleming and Bill Dries contributed to this story.

Topics

Shooting Memphis Police Whitehaven Frayser DeSoto County Sheriff's Office
Julia Baker

Julia Baker

Julia Baker covers criminal justice for The Daily Memphian. 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.