A heartbroken dad sobbed and begged for the ‘violence to stop’ after a crazed gunman shot his 17-year-old daughter dead while stealing her car in Memphis, Tennesee, after reportedly going on a shooting spree.
Ezekiel Kelly, 19, launched his alleged rampage, which he partially streamed live on Facebook, just before 1am and terrorized the city for more than 19 hours, killing four people and injuring three others.
Corteria Wright, 17, was shot in the back by Kelly at around 8.55pm and is thought to be his final victim before he was apprehended by officers.
Her heartbroken dad Corterian Wright posted an emotional video begginng for people to ‘stop the senseless s***’ adding: ‘My baby just turned 17. Please stop the violence, I’m begging y’all.’
Kelly has a violent criminal record, with police linking him to eight different incidents and warned terrified members of the public to stay away from him in a social media post at around 7pm on Wednesday.
The teenager had been jailed in 2021 after pleading guilty to aggravated assault, despite earlier being charged with attempted murder, and was released early from his three-year sentence.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland slammed the courts for the decision, saying that had he served his full sentence then ‘four of our fellow citizens would still be alive.’
He was described as being ‘armed and dangerous’ by police, with Police Chief Cerelyn Davis describing it as a ‘horrific week’ for the city.
Ezekiel Kelly, 19, is now in police custody after allegedly shooting dead four people and injuring another three in a 19-hour long rampage across Memphis Tennesee. Kelly was arrested when he crashed during a high speed chase after the carjacking in Southaven,Mississippi, where he crossed state lines in an attempt to evade police
Corteria Wright, 17, was shot and killed by Kelly at around 8.55pm and is thought to be his final victim before he was apprehended by officers. He is understood to have shot Rodolfo Berger (right) twice, who remains in a critical condition in hospital awaiting surgery
Kelly is believed to have started his rampage at around 12:56am, shooting and killing Dewayne Tunstall, 24, who was reportedly a friend of his in his driveway on Glendale Avenue.
Tunstall had been visiting friends with Kelly pulled him to the side and drew a black handgun, shooting him several times in the head with a black handgun.
Several hours after the initial shooting, he then started turning the gun on people at random – forcing locals to shelter in their homes.
At around 4.38pm he then shot a man dead as he sat in his car on South Parkway East multiple times, and two minutes later fired his gun at a woman near Norris Road and Interstate 240.
She was rushed to hospital with a bullet wound to the leg, and was transported to a hospital where she remains in a stable condition.
Crazed Kelly opened fire at an AutoZone store on Jackson Avenue just before 6pm, where he started to live stream the horror on Facebook.
He is understood to have shot Rodolfo Berger twice, who remains in a critical condition in hospital awaiting surgery.
His daughter Jenny posted online: ‘I love this man so much… my life partner and best friend. If you know me, you know he’s my world.
‘No one deserves to go through this. He’s out of surgery now and under extreme care. I was able to breathe and calm down.
‘He’s needing another surgery in a few days and I can feel in my heart he is so STRONG and ready for a journey of healing ahead. I will be with him soon.’
Kelly can be seen in the footage getting out of his car, walking into the store and pulling a gun to shoot Berger.
The teenager then rants to the camera about ‘no faking’ saying ‘this s*** for real’ on the livestream, with citizens reporting the footage to police.
Her heartbroken dad Corterian Wright posted an emotional video begginng for people to ‘stop the senseless s***’ adding: ‘My baby just turned 17. Please stop the violence, I’m begging y’all’
Terrified residents alerted police to the shootings after Kelly started a live stream on his Facebook page. He can be seen entereing AutoZone and aiming at a customer, now identified as Berger, who remains in hospital in a serious condition
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland slammed the courts for the decision, saying that had he served his full sentence then ‘four of our fellow citizens would still be alive’
Timeline: The 22-hour bloody rampage through Memphis on Wednesday
SHOOTING 1 – 12:56AM: Dewayne Tunstall, 24 is shot and killed in his driveway, 3100 block of Lyndale Avenue.
SHOOTING 2 – 4:38PM: Man is shot and killed inside his car on 946 East Parkway South. CCTV revealed man pulled up in a grey sedan and opened fire.
SHOOTING 3 – 4:40PM: Woman is shot in the leg on Norris Road near southbound ramp to Interstate 240, taken to hospital in noncritical condition.
SHOOTING 4 – 5:59PM: Suspect live-streams on Facebook as he shoots Rodolfo Berger, who remains in a critical condition, in an AutoZone on 4000 block of Jackson Avenue.
POLICE ALERT – 6:12PM: Memphis police put out a city-wide alert on the shooting suspect, with parts of Memphis going into lockdown
SHOOTING 5 – 7:23PM: Woman carjacked and fatally shot at Poplar Avenue and North Evergreen Street.
SHOOTING 6 – 7:24PM: Police respond to another shooting at Poplar and Evergreen, with a man taken to hospital in a non-critical condition.
SHOOTING 7 – 8:55PM: Corteria Wright, 17, is shot in the back and killed on the 800 block of West Raines Street, and another man is injured.
CARJACKING – 8:56PM: Police respond as a Dodge challenger is carjacked on Stateline Road and Highway 51. The owner was not injured.
ARRESTED – 8:58 PM: Police spot the Dodge Challenger going northbound on Interstate 55 – and a high-speed chase begins. Kelly is arrested at Hodge Rd & Ivan Rd and take him into custody.
Officers then issued an alert about Kelly and his vehicle, but shortly after he carjacked and shot a woman at Poplar Avenue and Evergreen Street in an attempt to switch vehicles.
The woman was shot dead at 7.23pm with Kelly driving off in her car, a gray Toyota SUV, before officers found another man suffering from gunshot wounds a minute later. He was taken to hospital in a stable condition.
Another woman was found shot dead on West Raines Road at 8.55pm, as Kelly crossed the state line and is accused of committing a second carjacking.
Police say that he held the driver of the Dodge Challenger up at gunpoint at a gas station in Southhaven, Mississippi.
The driver of the car was uninjured, and officers embarked upon a high speed chase on Interstate 55 that ended with Kelly crashing the car.
Officers recovered two weapons from the car, and footage shows Kelly grinning ear to ear after being put in the back of a police vehicle.
Police ordered residents to stay inside, with public bus services suspended and two universities were place on high alert as Kelly’s violent rampage continued.
His rampage has left Memphis residents reeling from the recent spate of violent crime in the city.
A pastor was recently killed in a carjacking in the city, with police searching for missing mother-of-two Eliza Fletcher, 34, before finding her dead body by an abandoned property.
Cleotha Abston-Henderson, 38, was yesterday charged with the murder of the billionaire heiress after violently bundling her into a car.
Abston-Henderson was released early from a felony kidnapping charge in 2020, had he served the full sentence he would have remained in prison until 2022.
Kelly was previously arrested on charges of attempted first-degree murder, reckless endangerment, using a gun during a felony and aggravated assault in June 2020.
In 2021 he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated assault for offences which were committed when he was 17.
He was sentenced to three years in prison, but was released in March after serving just 11 months of his sentence.
It is unclear as to why he was released, but Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland slammed the courts for the decision.
Pictured: Ezekiel Kelly, 19, caught on camera flashing an eerie grin (left in a mugshot and right in the back of a cop car) after allegedly shooting four people dead and injuring three others. He lead police on an hours-long manhunt after an alert was raised, putting parts of the city into lockdown
Ezekiel Kelly, 19, seen here in a Facebook post, was tracked down by the Memphis police after a shooting spree that left at least four people dead and three injure
He said: ‘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.’
He also urged the public to hold him and other officials to account over violent crime in the city, while saying the police were arresting ‘the same people over and over’.
Strickland added: ‘I welcome being held primarily responsible for lowering violent crime. But I do not have the authority over bonds. Over state sentencing laws. Over rehabilitation of people in prison.
‘I need the public to hold other people accountable, because I’m tired of our police officers arresting the same people over and over and over – and those people committing violent acts.
‘I think the public’s fed up with it too, but they need to let their voices be heard to these other institutions that play a role.
‘Call your state legislature, stay engaged with our judicial system and these judges that pass out these slap of the wrist sentences.’
During his rampage Kelly ranted that he would not return to jail on social media, but it is not clear what sparked the shooting spree.
Police have yet to confirm the identities of any of the victims, and have not yet revealed what the possible motive for the shooting spree was.
During the video he can be heard saying repeatedly ‘we do this s*** for real’ and ‘he was dying today’.
The teenager can also be heard saying: ‘Check this s*** out. I pull up and do this s***.
‘What do those n***** say? No faking? No faking. You heard me, this s*** for real.
Kelly, seen here in a Facebook post posing while standing over a pair of pistols and 20-dollar bills
‘On my mamma, how do you think I’m playing? This s*** so real, man. I’m killing s*** for real.’
He even threatened at one point to ‘shoot it out’ with police.
Kelly’s Facebook profile appeared to have been deactivated by the social media giant after the livestream.
The social media company removed Kelly’s live video soon after it was posted, MailOnline was told, and was working to remove any copies of the video to stop the footage from spreading on Facebook.
The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism – an organisation that works to prevent extremists from exploiting the internet and digital platforms – also activated its Content Incident Protocol in response to the shooting.
In a post on Twitter, Memphis Police said: ‘ALERT!! ARMED AND DANGEROUS!!!
‘Be on the lookout for a male Black occupying a blue or silver sedan (possibly an Infiniti or Nissan) who is responsible for multiple shootings.
‘We are getting reports that he is recording his actions on Facebook. We do not have a specific location of where he is now.
‘If you have any information of his whereabouts call 911 immediately,’ the post said, adding: ‘We will provide more information as it becomes available.’
In another video taken from that broadcast Kelly’s short dreadlocks can be seen as he’s driving down the road and says, ‘It’s getting real wild here’ and then the sound of automatic gunfire can be heard.
Kelly, whose Facebook page shows him flashing guns and money in most photos, posted an eerie message in mid-August, saying ‘I’m sorry momma I know you hate how I live…I know you pray every night I swear wont GO without a fight.’
Police in Memphis worked the scene of one of the shootings on Poplar Avenue after 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly went on a wild shooting rampage
The shooting spree comes the same week that the body of kidnapped billionaire heiress Eliza Fletcher, 34, was found in Memphis. Police have charged Cleotha Henderson, an ex-con who served 20 years for a previous abduction, with aggravated kidnapping, tampering with evidence, and murder
Cleotha Abston, 38, appeared in court on Wednesday and could face the death penalty. He has not yet entered any pleas to the charges against him, which include murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence
As the shooter terrorized Memphis, public bus service was suspended. Friends and relatives frantically called and texted each other to check on each others’ safety. TV stations cut into regular coverage to keep viewers updated.
Police received ‘numerous tips’ from the public during the ordeal, Davis said.
The University of Memphis sent a message to students saying a shooting had been reported near the campus.
The Memphis Red Birds stopped their home game and pulled the players off the field, the news site reported.
Rhodes College, which is about 4 miles away from the university, advised students on and off campus to shelter in place.
Kelly was arrested about 11 miles from the University and about 12 miles from Rhodes College.
Ali Roberts, acting assistant special agent in charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Memphis, said it was too early in the investigation to discuss how the suspect got the gun or guns used in the shootings.
The city has seen a string of high-profile killings in recent months, including the murder of a pastor during a carjacking and the abduction and murder last week of billionaire heiress Eliza Fletcher, 34, who was on a pre-dawn run.
Memphis City Council member Chase Carlisle said on Twitter: ‘I understand it feels like so much violence and evil to experience in such a short time, we are SO much more than this.’
The United States regularly sees mass shootings and other gun violence, but Congress has been reluctant to pass strict gun control legislation as the issue remains politically divisive.
At least 490 people have been killed in mass shootings and mass murders in the US in 2022 so far, according to the Gun Violence Archive, with 14,050 people dying in gun-related incidents over the same period, excluding suicides.