Botanic Garden offering free admission Friday after shooting spree

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Botanic Garden will offer free admission Friday as a response to several tragedies that have left the city of Memphis in shock.

Memphis Botanic Garden says it will offer free regular admission Friday to “help Memphis heal.”

“In light of the recent tragedies our city has suffered, we invite all of Memphis and the surrounding areas to the Garden for an opportunity to heal in nature,” Memphis Botanic Garden said in a statement.

Memphis has been rocked by several tragedies. Wednesday, a shooting spree left four people dead and three others injured. Memphis Police ordered citizens to shelter in place until the suspect was captured.

The suspect, identified as 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly, was arrested Wednesday night and has been charged with first degree murder. Kelly reported streamed at least one shooting on Facebook Live.

Memphis is also still reeling from the abduction and murder of 34-year-old teacher Eliza Fletcher. Police say Cleotha Abston-Henderson, 38, abducted her while she was on an early morning jog in the area of Zach Curlin Street and Central Avenue.

Fletcher’s body was found in a lot near a vacant home on Victor Street in South Memphis.

Memphis Botanic Garden said it strives to provide a “safe outdoor space” and hopes to be a “source of comfort and light during this difficult time.”

“As a team, we aksed ourselves what could the Garden do—even if small—to help our community begin to heal?” Executive Director Michael Allen said in a statement. “It is in this spirit that we will open our gates to the general public tomorrow without cost to anyone. We hope that our fellow citizens will visit our grounds and enjoy the serenity that our 96 acres of greenspace offer.”

Memphis Botanic Garden will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. A reservation is not required.

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