The 19-year-old Memphis man accused of killing four and terrorizing the city for hours Wednesday night as he drove around shooting people was let out of prison after serving less than a year for an attempted murder charge that was plea-bargained down to aggravated assault.
The Daily Wire is not naming the suspect or publishing his photo as part of a policy to deprive mass shooters of the attention they crave. But after police captured him in a stolen car, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said he should never have been on the loose.
“If [the suspect] served his full three-year sentence, he would still be in prison today and four of our fellow citizens would still be alive,” Strickland said.
Records show the suspect was freed on March 16 after serving just 11 months of his three-year sentence. A new law Strickland backed which went into effect in July may have kept the suspect locked up.
The bloody spree began just before 1 a.m. with the apparently random killing of a 24-year-old man in his driveway, said Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis, who laid out a timeline at a post-arrest news conference late Wednesday. The rampage resumed around 4:30 p.m., when police learned a man had been shot dead in his car.
Just 90 minutes later, the suspect livestreamed himself storming an AutoZone store, where he shot and wounded a man. He then carjacked and killed a woman and drove around the city shooting two more people, including a woman who was killed.
City officials warned residents to stay inside as the horrifying ordeal unfolded. Police said there were at least eight crime scenes, which included all seven shootings and the carjacking of the vehicle the suspect eventually crashed, leading to his capture.
Memphis mayor was receiving CRITICISM for pushing a law that would have put the Memphis shooter behind bars for his ENTIRE SENTENCE.
Charged in 2020 for attempted murder (3 year sentence..wtf?)
Released after 11 months. Again..WTF?!!! https://t.co/6Qg5Vd2Zda
— Centaur Joe Rogan (@JRECentaur) September 8, 2022
Strickland, a Democrat, took heat from left-wing activists earlier this year for backing a “truth in sentencing” bill that passed the Tennessee General Assembly. The law, which took effect in July, requires those convicted of certain felonies to serve 100% of their sentences with no chance of earning early release.
“I want the young person, if they have a gun, to think for a second before they pull that trigger,” Strickland told Action News in May. “Because if there’s a swift, severe punishment, they are more likely to have second thoughts in doing it.”
The west Tennessee city has been rocked by violet crime in recent weeks. A pastor, Rev. Dr. Autura Eason-Williams,was killed in her driveway during a carjacking in July; a well-known community activist was killed last month; and the abduction and killing of beloved school teacher and heiress Eliza Fletcher last week made national news.
“This has been a painful week in our city,” Strickland said.