MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A prominent Memphis business leader was killed in a shooting downtown Thursday night.
According to police, Phil Trenary was on South Front Street near G.E. Patterson when someone in a white truck drove up and shot him. The suspect then took off.
The victim was transported to Regional One Hospital in where he later died.
The Chamber confirmed the victim was Trenary, president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce.
Last night, the chamber was holding a four mile run on Riverside Drive. Kevin Kane, President and CEO of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, said Trenary lived near the location where he was shot and may have been walking home from the race.
Reaction from the community has been pouring in.
MayorJim Strickland said in a statement posted on Twitter:
“Like many of you, I’m shocked at the senseless loss tonight of Phil Trenary, a leader in our community. More than anything in these hours, my thoughts are with his family and his Chamber colleagues. I’m in close contact with MPD, which is leading a thorough investigation.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam also issued a statement on Trenary’s death.
“Our hearts are broken with the news of the loss of Phil Trenary. Phil has been a wonderful friend to Crissy and me and a great advocate for Memphis. Our hearts go out to his family and his associates and the Memphis community.”
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said on Twitter: “He made his mark in business and in service. And right down to his core, he believed in our community’s potential. I will pray for his family. This is a terrible loss.”
Council member Berlin Boyd said although Trenary wasn’t a native Memphian “he loved the city” and “leaves a big void that will be hard to fill.”
Rep. Raumesh Akbari said she was “completely shocked to hear that Phil Trenary passed.” She described him as “incredibly kind and encouraging.”
Richard W. Smith, chairman of the Chamber, released this statement:
“Last night, we lost a leader, a neighbor, a friend and a champion of our cause. Through his time at the helm of the Greater Memphis Chamber, he pushed to move our city and our region forward. He took on difficult challenges, remaining laser focused on one goal: for Memphis to win.
“Phil always spoke with great pride about the direction of this organization and our city. He was so proud of the strong leadership he had assembled at the Chamber and was more optimistic than ever about our collective future.
“We are grieving today, but we remain committed to Phil’s vision for Memphis. This was a man who woke up every day and worked to bring jobs and opportunities to our community. We owe it to him and to his legacy to continue that work.”
From 1997 to 2011, Trenary was head of Pinnacle Airlines, a Memphis-based carrier for Delta. He led the transformation of Pinnacle from a small regional carrier to one of the largest regionals in the nation with over $1.2B in revenue, according to his LinkedIn page.
He led the Chamber beginning in 2014. In 2017, he was named to a Federal Aviation Administration advisory panel.
Police say the suspect is a black male with dreadlocks wearing a blue shirt. He was in a white four-door F150 with a prominent antenna.
This is an ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at (901)-528-CASH.
Like many of you, I'm shocked at the senseless loss tonight of Phil Trenary, a leader in our community. More than anything in these hours, my thoughts are with his family and his Chamber colleagues. I'm in close contact with MPD, which is leading a thorough investigation. https://t.co/rkl6XRPMyZ
— Mayor Jim Strickland (@MayorMemphis) September 28, 2018