Live-streamed Tennessee shooting series kills 4, injures 3
At least one of the shootings was live broadcast on Facebook, an occurrence that is sending shockwaves over social media platforms.
Memphis police have arrested a suspect after four people were killed and three others were wounded in a series of shootings on Wednesday.
On early Thursday, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said at a briefing that at least one of the shootings was live-broadcast on Facebook. Another broadcast showed that the suspect, 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly, was "threatening to cause harm to citizens."
Kelly was subsequently taken into custody.
The first shooting, according to the police, happened at about 1 am when a man was fatally shot, while other shootings happened after 4h30 pm, continuing till 8h30 pm. At least seven shootings took place within this timeframe, in addition to a carjacking in Southaven.
BREAKING Serial Killer loose in Memphis. A man who has been identified as 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly.— TheFamily'sSoup TV (@FamilysSoupTV) September 8, 2022
Has been spotted driving around the Memphis Area shooting people.
He was on a live stream, but the feed was cut at one point.#EzekielKelly #MEMPHIS pic.twitter.com/iHfOzVPgo0
A spokesperson for Meta, Facebook's parent company, Erica Sackin, said that Facebook "identified and removed the Live content prior to the Memphis Police Department's initial public alert."
Facebook was "working closely with law enforcement on this matter," said Sackin, adding: "This is a developing situation and we have teams working to remove violating content related to this incident."
Basic institutions in the area have closed down temporarily, issuing warnings on social media against mobility.
The University of Memphis said it was going on lockdown after the shootings which took place near the campus, noting that police have urged people to avoid the streets until the suspect is taken away.
The Memphis Area Transit Authority also announced that it's suspending its services in the area, whereas the city's municipality said on Twitter: "If you do not need to be out, please stay home!"
Read next: Gunmakers making more money amid US mass shooting crisis
Last week, a man in Detroit fired randomly at people over a roughly two-and-a-half hour period, shooting four people and killing three.
The soaring gun violence in the United States and loose gun laws permit just about anyone to possess a firearm.
Over the past five-year period, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) could only trace 0.98% of suspected "ghost guns" handed in by law enforcement to an individual purchaser, the department added.
According to the organization Gun Violence Archive (GVA), more than 15,070 people have died from gun violence since the beginning of the year in the United States, including suicides.
Over the whole of 2020, the number was at 45,000 dead, said GVA, a figure which has prompted the White House to speak of an "epidemic".
So far in 2022, according to the organization, 12,166 have sustained injuries from gun violence, with a total of 179 shootings carried out over the United States.