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Mayor: Shooting spree suspect had been released from prison 6 months ago

The arrest warrant was issued on the same day the shooting spree happened.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The man responsible for a string of shootings across Memphis had been released from Shelby County Correctional Center less than six months ago, Mayor Jim Strickland said.

Ezekiel Kelly is accused of shooting six people in a series of crimes Wednesday. Three people died and three others were injured.

Kelly streamed one of those shootings on Facebook Live, according to Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis.

Timeline of Memphis Shooting Spree

According to Davis, Kelly was identified as a suspect in a fatal shooting that happened on Lyndale Avenue just before 1 a.m. Wednesday.

An arrest warrant was filed on a first degree murder charge against Kelly on Wednesday, court records show.

Just after 4:30 p.m., officers responding to a shooting on South Parkway East found a man dead in his vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds. 

At 4:40 p.m., officers responded to another shooting and found a female with gunshot wounds to the leg. Police said the suspect fled in a dark colored sedan.

Just over an hour later, Kelly was on Facebook Live when he opened fire inside a store on Jackson Avenue, Davis said. A man was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

At 6:12 p.m., Davis said that police received a tip that Kelly, using the name "Zeek Huncho", was on Facebook Live threatening to "cause harm to citizens."

At that point, police began alerting citizens, issuing a shelter in place and embarked on a manhunt in search of the suspect.

At 7:23 p.m., police said Kelly shot a woman and took her vehicle on Poplar Avenue. 

Minutes later, police responded to another shooting on Poplar Avenue. A man was transported to the hospital in non-critical condition.

At 8:55 p.m., officers found a woman dead of gunshot wounds on West Raines Road.

A minute later, Southaven Police responded to a carjacking at a gas station on Stateline Road, Davis said. The suspect stole a Dodge Challenger.

The driver of that vehicle was uninjured.

Minutes later, Memphis police spotted the Challenger  northbound on Interstate 55, Davis said. A high speed pursuit ensued, ending at Hodge Road at Ivan Road.

Kelly was taken into custody. Davis said two weapons were seen in the vehicle.

Multiple charges are pending against Kelly, according to the police chief.

Kelly was out of jail less than 6 months

In April 2021, Kelly, who had been charged with criminal attempted first degree murder, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to three years in prison, according to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

Kelly served 11 months and was released on March 16, 2022, Strickland said.

This is a developing story and will be updated as additional details become available.

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