4 children in critical condition after shooting breaks out on Memphis interstate

Five people, including four children, were in critical condition and two people faced murder charges after a shooting along a West Tennessee interstate late Tuesday.

Officers responded to a shooting that broke out on a stretch of Interstate 240, east of downtown Memphis, just after 5 p.m., according to the Memphis Police Department. When they arrived, police found an empty car riddled with bullet holes.

Meanwhile, the five victims arrived by a private vehicle at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis in critical condition, police said. The children, ages 2 to 8, and a 30-year-old man were transferred to other hospitals.

Officers identified the suspect vehicle as a 2022 gray Mitsubishi Outlander and issued a citywide call asking officers to look out for the SUV, which had been stolen on June 9, according to the police department. Within minutes, officers spotted the vehicle and tried to stop it but the suspects fled, and a high-speed chase began.

During their getaway attempt, the suspects fired shots at police. About 10 miles northwest of the shooting scene, the driver crashed into a ditch, and the two men took off on foot. Police soon had them in custody.

Both men, Lorenzo Watson, 18, and Kendrick Ray, 21, have been charged with multiple counts of attempted first-degree murder, using a firearm during a felony, evading arrest and felony theft, police announced in a social media post Wednesday.

Ray was also wanted on charges of attempted first-degree murder, carjacking, and employment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. It was not immediately clear whether Watson or Ray were being represented by private attorneys or the public defender's office. The Shelby County Public Defender's Office did not return a request for comment.

The afternoon shooting was one of two violent incidents on the Memphis interstate within 24 hours. At midnight Tuesday, police responded to a shooting on I-240 in which a person in a black Chevrolet Cobalt pointed a handgun at another vehicle and fired multiple times, police said. The victim's car was struck but the woman not hurt. As she pulled off the interstate, her car stalled and the suspect chased her until she managed to get inside a bystander's car and flee.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Memphis shooting leaves 4 kids, 1 adult in critical condition