US: 19-year old man guns down people on Facebook live, taken into custody

The exact number of victims is still unknown


Published: Thu 8 Sep 2022, 10:30 AM

Last updated: Thu 8 Sep 2022, 10:39 AM

A 19-year-old man allegedly involved in multiple shootings in Memphis, Tennessee, US, has been taken into custody, said the Memphis Police Department in a statement on Wednesday (local time).

"The suspect is in custody," the Memphis Police Department said on Twitter. "Shelter in place has been lifted."

Ezekiel D. Kelly, the 19-year-old suspect wanted in relation to multiple shootings, has been apprehended for gunning down people randomly on Facebook live, a local media report said – adding that the incident triggered terror amongst citizens in Memphis on Wednesday afternoon.

According to local media, several people were shot in multiple locations while the suspect was streaming the violence on Facebook live. The exact number of victims is not known yet.

In another incident, a 19-year-old man named Dontae Ramon Smith was charged with murder on September 1 for a series of random shootings in Detroit. The killing spree lasted over two hours and killed three people.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said he is determined to ban assault weapons in America, amid the increasing gun violence in the country.

In order to curb the rising incidents of gun violence in the US, the US Senate passed a bipartisan bill in the United States; the first major piece of federal gun reform in almost 30 years. The final vote was 65 to 33, with 15 Republicans joining Democrats in support of the measure, marking a significant bipartisan breakthrough on one of the most contentious policy issues in the US.

The "Bipartisan Safer Communities Act" bill aims to take firearms away from dangerous individuals and provide millions of dollars for mental health, school safety, crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

However, the bill does not ban assault-style rifles, or significantly expand background-check requirements for gun purchases. Still, it gives states more resources to take guns away from those deemed dangerous.

More than 390 million guns are owned by civilians in the US. In 2020 alone, over 45,000 Americans died from firearm-related injuries, including homicides and suicides. This move comes after the May 24 massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 children and two teachers. It was the bloodiest mass shooting in the United States this year, occurring only 10 days after another shooting that killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo.

Amid the rising gun violence in the country, the US Department of Justice also launched the National Ghost Gun Enforcement Initiative in February 2022 to prevent criminals from using weapons.

According to the latest data from the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 21,800 deaths from gun violence, and 296 mass shootings across the United States over the past six months.


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