A medical assistant and an aspiring entrepreneur were among the four people killed Wednesday in Memphis in what the city’s mayor called a “senseless murder rampage.”
Three others were injured in the shooting spree that stretched across at least eight crime scenes.
Allison Parker, an assistant at Family Practice Center of West Memphis, a medical center in Arkansas, was one of the four people killed.
“Our office is grieving the loss of our medical assistant, Allison Parker. She was a victim of the tragic violence in Memphis yesterday,” Dr. Trent Pierce wrote on Facebook.
“Please pray for her family and our entire office staff as we try to process this senseless loss.”
There was no answer at a phone number listed for the office but a recorded message by Pierce said the center was closed Thursday due to her death and would reopen Friday.
A verified online fundraiser described Parker as a mother of three who lost their father two years ago. One of her children was with her at the time the shooting, according to the fundraiser.
A second victim, Dewayne Tunstall, was visiting a home east of downtown Memphis early Wednesday morning with a few friends when the gunman — who was there too — pulled Tunstall aside, according to a police affidavit filed Thursday in Shelby County criminal court.
Tunstall’s best friend, Marcus Cash, told NBC affiliate WMC of Memphis that the group was at his house to eat barbecue.
At one point, the suspected shooter drew a handgun and fired several shots at Tunstall, fatally striking him, according to the affidavit.
“He ate his food,” Cash said of Kelly, according to the station. “It was out of the blue.”
Cash described Tunstall, 24, as a budding entrepreneur and father of a young girl with another child on the way, the station reported. The pair planned on opening food truck together, Cash told the station.
Cash, who described the suspect as an acquaintance, said he knew of no problems between him and Tunstall, who also went by Amir.
After allegedly gunning down Tunstall, the suspect is accused of shooting six more people, three of them fatally, over several hours beginning Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement late Wednesday that he was “angry” on behalf of the victims and their families.
“I’m angry that our citizens had to shelter in place for their own safety until the suspect was caught,” he said. “This is no way for us to live and it is not acceptable.”
The 19-year-old suspect was taken into custody Wednesday night after authorities spotted a Dodge Challenger that he allegedly carjacked on Interstate 55. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and is being held without bond, jail records show.
It wasn’t immediately clear if he has a lawyer to speak on his behalf.