Memphis police thwart potential mass shooting at arena: Officials

The attack was to take place outside the FedExForum, police said.

July 17, 2022, 12:28 PM

A 28-year-old man distraught over a breakup with his girlfriend was arrested after police alleged he planned to shoot people leaving an event at an arena in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, according to authorities.

Elijah Hyman was arrested at his apartment early Saturday on a charge of commission of an act of terrorism, according to a statement from the Memphis Police Department.

Hyman allegedly threatened to commit a mass shooting targeting people leaving the FedExForum in Memphis, police said.

Police did not specify the date of the planned attack or the event, but rapper Yo Gotti said his annual birthday bash performance at the Forum Friday night was the target.

"We were informed of a potential threat regarding an individual seeking to harm attendees leaving (the) Birthday Bash that occurred 3 hours after our show ended," Yo Gotti, a Memphis rapper whose real name is Mario Mims, said in a post on Twitter Saturday. "I would also like to thank the Memphis Police Department for their swift and proactive action in ensuring that all attendees returned home safely."

PHOTO: A outside view shows the Fedex forum in Memphis, Tenn., April 19, 2022.
A outside view shows the Fedex forum in Memphis, Tenn., April 19, 2022.
Justin Ford/Getty Images, FILE

Yo Gotti's concert ended several hours before officers responded to Hyman's apartment just blocks from the arena.

Officers initially responded to Hyman's apartment around 2:45 a.m. Saturday for an "armed mental consumer call," according to the police statement. Hyman was taken into custody after police spoke to him and his girlfriend, officials said.

"Officers were advised that since Hyman and his girlfriend's relationship was coming to an end, he wanted to kill himself and everyone he saw coming from an event being held at the FedExForum," the Memphis police said in a statement.

PHOTO: Elijah Hyman, 28, was charged with Commission of the Act of Terrorism after threatening a mass shooting in Memphis, Tenn., July 17, 2022.
Elijah Hyman, 28, was charged with Commission of the Act of Terrorism after threatening a mass shooting in Memphis, Tenn., July 17, 2022.
Memphis Police Department

Police said Hyman was detained and placed in handcuffs before being taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation and to be treated for a cut to his hand that he sustained from a broken window in his residence, authorities said.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives was contacted about the incident, police said.

Yo Gotti, who was born and raised in Memphis, began staging his annual birthday bash concert in 2012. The concert had been canceled in 2020 and 2021 during to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During Friday's sold-out performance, which was live streamed online, the rapper, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, began the concert by telling the crowd, "My city! Let's go!"

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