‘He said that the devil made him do it’: Man arrested after triple homicide in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — A Memphis man was arrested after three people were shot and killed in the Bethel Grove neighborhood over the weekend.

Jermel Keaton

According to police, Jermel Cortez Keaton, 32, opened fire inside a rooming house in the 2500 block of Dunn on Sunday evening, killing three people and injuring a fourth.

While on the scene, authorities said they received a phone call from the landlord saying Keaton, one of his tenants, was at his home and wanted to turn himself in.

Keaton reportedly told investigators during questioning that someone inside the home was threatening him and he “just lost it.” He then went to see the landlord to apologize for “messing up his house.”

WREG’s Jerrita Patterson spoke with Keaton’s girlfriend who said he suffers from a mental illness.

“He’s been asking the state for help. He’s been telling them that he’s crazy. That he hears people inside of his mind,” she said.

She shared video captured the day before the shooting, as Keaton expressed dark thoughts.

“He says since I’m already dead, live that way,” she said.

The two would later exchange texts; they are messages that now make her emotional as she says it may have been another missed cry for help.

“He texted back and said ‘I miss you too babe.’ I texted him back and said ‘You miss me?'”

A few hours later, she received a phone call.

“He said that the devil made him do it,” she said.

Eyewitnesses said one roommate was attacked on the porch while another was shot while in bed. The bed has been removed but what remains for neighbors is the feeling of fear.

Keaton was charged with three counts of murder, attempted murder and employment of a firearm during a dangerous felony.

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