Three children are now parentless after their mother was killed by a 19-year-old gunman who Wednesday went on an apparently random shooting spree in Memphis.
“Allison Parker was murdered on Wednesday, Sept. 7 during a mass shooting in Memphis,” says a GoFundMe for the Crittendon County, Arkansas woman who was killed Wednesday. “She leaves behind three children who also lost their father two years ago. One of her children was with her at the time of the shooting. Please give what you can to help them.”
Parker was 38.
West Memphis, Arkansas is just across the state line and adjacent to the city of Memphis.
Allison Parker worked as a medical assistant at Family Practice Center in West Memphis.
“Our office is grieving the loss of our medical assistant, Allison Parker. She was a victim of the tragic violence in Memphis yesterday,” the office said on Facebook. “Please pray for her family and our entire office staff as we try to process this senseless loss.”
Allison Parker’s daughter, 20-year-old Ariana Parker, posted on Instagram that she watched her mother die in front of her.
At the time of the shooting, gunman Ezekiel Kelly was also in the process of carjacking Parker in an attempt to flee from police.
Kelly was a known criminal with a violent past.
He was charged in 2021 with attempted first-degree murder, reckless endangerment and possession of a firearm with intent to commit a felony. He pleaded those charges down to aggravated assault, and was given a three year prison sentence.
But he was inexplicably released from prison in March after serving only 11 months of his sentence, according to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
Strickland, breaking with many of his fellow Democrats in the state, has been a strong supporter of what the state calls “truth in sentencing.”
The legislature passed a “truth in sentencing” bill into law in May without the signature of Gov. Bill Lee (R).
That law required violent convicted felons to serve their entire sentences behind bars.
Just after that bill was passed, Strickland praised it, despite receiving criticism from his own party.
“The people of our city were confronted with the type of violence no one should have to face. Ezekiel Kelly was charged with criminal attempted first degree murder but pled guilty in April of 2021 to the lesser charge of aggravated assault,” his office said in a Thursday statement. “He was sentenced to 3 years, but only served 11 months and was released on March 16, 2022 – less than 6 months ago.”
“These evil actions show why truth in sentencing is a must, and we should do all we can to make our city safe,” said Strickland. “We should not be terrorized by anyone who wants to strike fear in our hearts and take away what we love about Memphis. We must unite around this principle and stand up to the challenge of violent crime in our city.”
“If Mr. Kelly served his full 3-year sentence, he would still be in prison today and 4 of our fellow citizens would still be alive.”
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