Friends, neighbors shocked by Chamber president’s murder

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —  Shock waves are still going through the Memphis community after local business leader Phil Trenary was gunned down Thursday night in downtown Memphis.

Trenary had been the president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce since 2014. From 1997 to 2011, Trenary was head of Pinnacle Airlines, a Memphis-based carrier for Delta.

Friends said Trenary was walking home from a Chamber-sponsored run along the river last night when he was shot and killed near the Memphis Farmer's Market on South Front Street.

Police have not said whether  the shooting was random, but said the gunman was driving a white, four-door, Ford F-150 pickup.

A truck similar to that description was involved in a high-speed chase and crash in South Memphis on Friday morning. Police have not said whether the truck was related to Trenary's shooting.

Police block off South Front Street after Phil Trenary was shot to death Thursday night.

Diane Caceres and her family were staying at an Airbnb across the street from where the shooting happened.  She said they left for a few minutes to go to a nearby convenience store and when they came back saw police all over the street.

"When we hear the news it was a CEO it was a real shock for us," said Caceres.

People who live in the South Main Arts District said the violence in unnerving.  Rachel Mullen opened Primas Bakery and Boutique two months ago and said until now, she hasn't worried about her safety.

"There are always people out and about. I always feel comfortable here and there is a good police presence in the neighborhood," said Mullen.

State Rep. Antonio Parkinson spoke to Trenary just hours before he was killed.  Parkinson was setting up for the Raleigh-Frayser Block Party for Peace Friday morning and said he was shocked and devastated when he got the news about his longtime friend.

"He was talking about coming to the block party this weekend. So, we were looking forward to seeing each other and then you get that news. You are never ready for it," said Rep. Parkinson.

Parkinson said the block party is intended to empower people, help them get out of poverty and away from incentives for crime.