The Memphis Shooting is Another Government Failure

Image via NYT, Memphis

A city brought to a standstill, Memphis was paralyzed by a roving shooter yesterday until he was finally arrested late that night. The 19 year old killed four and severely injured at three people, over several hours, as he live streamed his attacks and aired his list of grievances on Facebook live. This isn’t the first spree killing or mass killing where Social Media has been used as the tool to share the violence with the world, the Christchurch shooting is probably the most famous.

What is perhaps the most frustrating aspect, beyond the deaths and the disruptions, is that the shooter should still be in prison right now. The 19 year old was charged with attempted first degree murder and several other severe charges back in 2020. That series of violent offenses and the subsequent charges resulted in an aggravated assault conviction and a three year prison sentence.

But only 11 months of the sentence was served, and yesterday he took a full auto modified Glock, probably with one of the imported switches that have become popular and are highly illegal to install if you are not a manufacturer, and did this.

Screencap from the livestream, the shooter fires a burst at this man inside an auto parts store. The man was severely injured.

So lets recap.

A convicted violent felon, age 19, got their hands on an illegally automatic Glock pistol, after being released from prison having served less than 1/3 of their sentence, and shot at least seven people, killing four, and was streaming it to the world. The shooter had shot four people, starting at 1 a.m. with the slaying of a 24 year old man in his own driveway, before authorities were onto him after the AutoZone attack.

The shooter took a break after his first killing, he began shooting again at about 4:30 p.m., killing a man in his car and shooting a woman in the leg at two separate locations.

It wasn’t until 6 p.m. when the shooter live streamed his attack at AutoZone (shown above) resulting in a critical injury, that authorities got a bead on his activities. The shooter continued the video stream talking to the camera while driving and filming shooting at victims with the automatically modified Glock. He carjacked on two separate occasions, killed one of the drivers in the street, and continued his reckless and carefree rampage until being captured late Wednesday night.

“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,” the Memphis mayor said.

Once again we see that rules are only as effective as a society’s ability to enforce them in a swift and judicious manner. A single young man, who couldn’t be bothered to give a damn about anyone but himself, who publicly displayed his brutalities and lack of concern exhibitionist style, brought Memphis to a halt and took the lives of four people. All because the justice system couldn’t be bothered to keep him in prison until 2024 when his sentence, for a much lesser charge compared to the originals he was on trial for, was complete.

But I’m sure someone will propose a gun control law that would ‘fix’ this instead.

Keith Finch
Keith is the Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. A Certified Instructor since 2009, he has taught concealed weapons courses in the West Michigan area in the years since and continues to pursue training and teaching opportunities as they arise.