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Shooting spree leaves 4 dead, 3 injured in Memphis, suspect in custody

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Police investigate the scene of a reported carjacking reportedly connected to a series of shootings on September 7, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo via AFP)

A string of shootings has left four people dead and three others injured in Memphis, Tennessee, according to the police which said a suspect was arrested.

Mayor Jim Strickland said at a news conference on Thursday that officers had captured a 19-year-old suspect for what he described as a “senseless murder rampage."

The suspect, identified as Ezekiel Kelly, caused at least 8 crime scenes, said the police which began the manhunt early Wednesday evening after the authorities had been alerted about a shooting on Facebook Live.

At around 7 p.m. local time, Memphis police tweeted an urgent alert, saying, “We are getting reports that he is recording his actions on Facebook. We do not have a specific location of where he is now,.” 

Kelly was charged with first-degree attempted murder due to an incident on February 3, 2020, according to court records.

He was also charged with aggravated assault, employment of a firearm with intent to commit a dangerous felony and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon.

He is expected to face numerous felony charges.

The incident came days after two people were killed and five others wounded in a shooting in the southeastern US state of Virginia.

According to the police, four women and three men were wounded in the shooting, two of them later succumbing to their injuries at a hospital.

The surge in US gun violence comes as firearm purchases rose to record levels in 2020 and 2021 in the country. The rate of gun deaths in those two years hit the highest level since 1995, with more than 45,000 fatalities each year.

According to the 2018 international study Small Arms Survey, there were approximately 393 million firearms in civilian hands in the US, or 120.5 firearms per 100 people. That number is much higher now, given increases in gun sales in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The independent data collection non-profit organization, Gun Violence Archive, says the US has witnessed over 380 mass shootings this year alone.

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