Chamber President Shot and Killed Downtown


  • Phil Trenary/Twitter

Greater Memphis Chamber president and CEO Phil Trenary was shot and killed thursday night on Front Street in Downtown Memphis.

Memphis Police Department officials arrived at the scene around 8 p.m. and said they were looking for a suspect driving a white truck with an extended antenna.

Two hours later, police said Trenary was dead at Regional One Health. At the time, they were still searching for the suspect, described as having dreadlocks and wearing a blue shirt.

As the news emerged, leaders from across the city, county, and state expressed their shock and sadness.

Statement from Richard W. Smith, chairman of the Greater Memphis Chamber:

"This is a difficult day.

I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to Phil Trenary's family, his friends, to his colleagues at the Greater Memphis Chamber, and to the entire community who mourn this loss with us today.

Phil believed, as we all still believe, that Memphis's best days are ahead.

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.

I ask that you continue to respect the privacy of the Trenary family during this unfathomably difficult time.

All additional details are subject to an active investigation and should be directed to the appropriate authorities. We will provide more information as it becomes available.

Thank you."

MLGW President & CEO J.T. Young’s statement on Phil Trenary's passing (September 27, 2018):

“When I arrived in Memphis earlier this year, Phil Trenary was one of the first business leaders to reach out and welcome me,” said J.T. Young, MLGW President & CEO. “His love for Memphis and our business community was immeasurable. The loss of this giant business leader will be very difficult for our community to overcome. Phil’s death was tragic, senseless and a painful loss. My prayers are with this business giant.”

United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the passing of president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce, Phil Trenary:

“I am shocked to learn of Phil Trenary’s death. He was a good friend and a strong voice for Memphis and Tennessee. Honey and I send our sympathy to his family and to the entire Memphis community on his loss.”

From Bill Gibbons, president of the Memphis and Shelby County Crime Commission:

"The death of Phil Trenary is a tragedy for his family, his friends, and our city. He was a friend and someone who was determined every day to make a positive difference. His death is a great loss. We must continue working together to end senseless violence in our community."

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