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Man Suspected of Killing 4 in Memphis Is Found Dead After Hourslong Manhunt

U.S.Man Suspected of Killing 4 in Memphis Is Found Dead After Hourslong Manhunt

A man suspected of fatally shooting three women and a 13-year-old girl in Memphis was found dead early Sunday with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the police said, ending an hourslong manhunt.

The police said that the man, Mavis Christian Jr., 52, was involved in shootings at three locations on Saturday, in which four were killed and one was seriously injured. The shootings led to an hourslong manhunt involving local, state and federal agencies, stoking fear among residents as officials sent out a notice warning around 12:30 a.m. Sunday that Mr. Christian was “armed and extremely dangerous.”

The police said preliminary information indicated the shootings were connected, and were an incident of domestic violence. All of the victims were relatives of Mr. Christian, the police said.

The police started looking for Mr. Christian on Saturday afternoon around 5:40 p.m., after the first shooting on Field Lark Drive, a residential neighborhood in southwestern Memphis with mostly older residents. According to neighbors, Mr. Christian shot a single mother and her 13-year-old daughter, and both were killed.

Neighbors said that after the initial gunshots, a teenager ran down the street screaming for help. The teen was shot, they said, and rushed to the hospital. The police did not confirm the neighbors’ accounts.

Later in the evening, the police responded to two more shootings, at around 6:30 p.m. and around 9:30 p.m., finding one victim with a gunshot wound at each location. Both were found dead on the scene.

After an hourslong manhunt, Mr. Christian was found dead around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday inside a white Chevrolet Malibu that the police had been chasing, with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.

The shootings put neighbors and residents on edge, especially as they came a little over a year after another series of shootings set off a citywide manhunt.

“I think it’s shaken up the whole neighborhood, to be honest,” said Tyler Bee Singer, 22, a resident near the second shooting on Warrington Road. “No one saw this coming.”

As the manhunt was underway, Valita Jefferson, 55, who lives near the site of the third shooting, said she watched anxiously from the street of the scene, which had been closed off by the police.

“I just kept looking and wondering if he was anywhere close by or when are they going to catch him,” she said. “It was kind of frightening.”

Another resident of that neighborhood on Howard Drive, Darren Hardrick, 55, said he had talked to Mr. Christian earlier on Saturday, when “everything seemed normal. Then all of a sudden this happened.”

On Sunday, Mavis Christian Sr., 74, the gunman’s father, came to Field Lark Drive after hearing of the shootings on the news. “I’m surprised it happened,” he said, adding that his son “was a quiet young man. When his temper rises, it rises, I guess.”

A spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Correction said Mr. Christian had previously been convicted of aggravated assault and vandalism in Shelby County and received a three-year sentence in 2018. He was released early in December 2019.

Anna Betts contributed reporting.


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