Target shooting suspect has checkered past

Target shooting suspect has checkered past
Ellis' checkered past is detailed in a stack of police reports. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Ellis' checkered past is detailed in a stack of police reports. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Memphis police are still looking for the suspect involved in a shooting in the parking lot of the Target on Monday that left 33-year-old Torhonda Cathey dead.

Police have identified the suspect as Memphis firefighter Ronald Ellis.

According to witnesses, Cathey was shot three times through her driver's side door. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition and later died from injuries.

"I know she hears us talking now because she is with God," says Cathey's father, Gurnett Cathey.

Ellis was due in court in Olive Branch Tuesday morning for an October 8, 2013 arrest on a charge of malicious mischief over $500, domestic violence-simple assault, stalking and driving on expired tags. Records list the victim in that case is listed Torhonda Cathey.
"I do know that he has had a checkered past," says Memphis Fire Department Director Alvin Benson.

A checkered past detailed in a stack  of police reports. In 2013 Ellis was charged with for reportedly assaulting and stalking Cathey. However, he's been accused of crossing the line with two other women.

Between 2003 and 2004, police were called out three times by a woman who said Ellis harassed and assaulted her.

In a police report from 2004, police reported that Ellis, "grabbed the victim around the throat and began choking her ... and the suspect also bit the victim's neck." Three years later, he was accused of harassing a different woman. This woman told WMC Action News 5 the harassment started in 2007 after the pair broke off their relationship, and that it didn't stop until she filed a restraining order.

Ellis' ex-wife who told WMC that their relationship was never violent, and that she is stunned by the situation.

Investigators issued a warrant for Ellis' arrest on a first-degree murder charge. If you have any information that may help investigators find Ronald Ellis, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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