MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A suspect in Tennessee died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while on the run Sunday after a series of shootings that killed four of his female relatives and seriously injured a fifth person, police said.
Officers found the body of Mavis Christian Jr., 52, in his car during a manhunt following shootings at three locations in Memphis that left three women and a teenage girl dead and another teenage girl critically wounded, the Memphis Police Department said.
Police said Christian was related to the victims but could not immediately specify how they were related. The names of the victims have not yet been released.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless shootings on Saturday … resulting in the deaths of four innocent family members and a fifth victim critically injured,” the police department said in a statement posted on social media. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones as our community grieves more lives taken by domestic violence.”
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said that “incidents like these shake us all to our core.”
The suspect’s uncle, Melvin Christian, said he didn’t know what might have triggered the violence.
“I hadn’t seen him in years,” Melvin Christian said when reached by phone Sunday.
He said he didn’t know any details about the shootings, including who had been shot. When told that four people had died, he replied, “Oh, lord.”
Memphis police officers responded to a report of a shooting at 9:22 p.m. Saturday on the 100 Block of Howard Drive. Police found a woman with an apparent gunshot wound who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators determined there were two other connected fatal shootings. At Field Lark Drive, a woman and a 13-year-old girl were killed and a 15-year-old girl was critically wounded. Another woman was found fatally shot on Warrington Road, Memphis Police Officer Christopher Williams said earlier.
Police believed Christian was responsible for the shootings and began a search involving local, state and federal law enforcement agencies until his body was found.