Retired officer, veteran killed in motorcycle crash in Millington

Bill Merchant

MILLINGTON, Tenn. — Community members are mourning the loss of a Millington man who dedicated his life to serving the city, county and country.

William Merchant served in the U.S. Navy before becoming a Millington Police officer and Shelby County Sheriff’s deputy.

“It was a shock. I think that’s the biggest thing was just like, no, he’s really not. We’re going to go down here and it’s going to be alright,” said his family member Brittany Kiestler.

Merchant’s loved ones couldn’t believe the news he’d been killed in a motorcycle crash.

The 67-year-old dedicated his life to his wife, family and serving others.

“He’d take a bullet for anyone. It didn’t matter who you were. You could be a complete stranger,” said his grandson Camryn Ellison.

Merchant served in the U.S. Navy for 25 years before joining the Millington Police Department for 20 years.

“I can remember every single time he came home, he was ready, he was always ready to go right back in,” said Ellison.

Even after retiring from the department last year, his family said it didn’t last long as he soon worked part-time for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

“He took up so many roles in Millington,” said Kiestler. “He’s worn every kind of uniform you can think and everybody has so much respect for him.”

Investigators say the crash happened around 12:30 Sunday afternoon on Cuba Millington Road west of Highway 51.

Witnesses say he was riding down the street when the driver came out of a shopping center exit and hit him.

Family members say it was heart breaking to look at the after-marks on Monday, but do find comfort in one thing:

“At least we know where he’s at and God’s taking care of him.”

The investigation into what caused the crash is still ongoing and charges are pending.