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Memphis Mayor Assails Shooting Spree Suspect's Prison Release

Memphis officials are vowing to crack down on violent crime after a gunman went on a shooting spree Wednesday, killing four people and wounding three others, reports the Wall Street Journal. A 19-year-old suspect, who police say streamed some of his crimes on Facebook Live, has been arrested. The suspect, Ezekiel Kelly, had pleaded guilty in 2021 to aggravated assault after being initially charged with criminal attempted first-degree murder, said Mayor Jim Strickland. Kelly was sentenced to three years in prison but only served 11 months and was released in March.

“These evil actions show why truth in sentencing is a must, and we should do all we can to make our city safe,” Strickland said Thursday. “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.” Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis said that law enforcement officers were investigating at least eight crime scenes involving the shooting spree. Officials didn’t explain on why Kelly had served only a portion of his 2021 sentence. Wednesday evening, Kelly was captured after a high-speed chase in a stolen car. At least two weapons were in the vehicle, Davis said.