Emotional Reporter During Mass Shooting: ‘Memphis Is Tired’



Joyce Peterson spent much of Wednesday evening into early Thursday reporting on a shocking, daylong Memphis shooting spree that left four dead, three wounded, and one man finally in custody. But one of the Action News 5 reporter’s on-air segments in particular is drawing attention, as she became emotional while filling locals in on what was going on in their city. “This is not a joke. This is an extremely dangerous situation,” a matter-of-fact Peterson warned viewers during a live broadcast around 8pm local time, before the suspect had been apprehended, per Newsweek. Suddenly, the reporter’s tone shifted as she paused and tears came to her eyes.

“Memphis is tired right now,” she noted. “The Eliza Fletcher kidnapping and abduction and murder, the other crimes we’ve had this year leading up to this. It’s difficult right now.” She then called it a “nerve-wracking night” for the city and referenced other shootings that had recently taken place, adding, “Bear with me.” Those nerves were somewhat soothed when police finally captured their suspect, 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly, who they say shot at people in at least eight locations during his rampage, part of which he’s said to have streamed live on Facebook. The New York Post lays out the timeline of Kelly’s alleged day of violence, which began very early Wednesday with the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man in his driveway, per police.

Court records cited by the Washington Post show Kelly has been charged with first-degree murder in what Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis has deemed a “mobile mass shooting.” “It is certainly an anomaly for us to experience so much in such a short period of time,” Davis said at an early Thursday presser. In a statement, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said that Kelly had been charged previously, at age 17, with attempted first-degree murder, but he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated assault and was sentenced to three years behind bars. Strickland noted that Kelly served just 11 months of that sentence and was released in March. (Read more Memphis stories.)

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