Basketball tournament carries on in memory of slain New Orleans firefighter

Basketball tournament carries on in memory of slain New Orleans firefighter
Gregory Howard (Source: New Orleans Fire Dept.)
Gregory Howard (Source: New Orleans Fire Dept.)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The search continues for suspects in the shooting death of a New Orleans firefighter outside a Shelby County nightclub.

Gregory Howard, 37, was an innocent bystander when he was killed Friday night outside the Mynt Lounge on Hacks Cross Road.

Investigators are now combing through surveillance to try to identify the suspects.

Howard was in town for a first responder basketball tournament, hosted by Memphis Police Officer Clarence Campbell.

The 2017 Memphis's Finest Hoop Fest is a first for the city.

Police, firefighters, correction officers, and military personnel from different corners of the country said they're playing for a better community.

Participants of the basketball tournament are carrying on after the sudden and tragic loss of their friend, who was supposed to be in it.

The tragedy shows that the message behind the event is now more important than ever.

"We show the kids in that area how we work together, especially in a game of basketball," Campbell said.

Campbell was born and raised in the Bluff City. He said this tournament was two years in the making and an opportunity to see first responders off the clock trying to make a difference.

"Now they get a chance to talk to these guys, interact with them, have a conversation with them," Campbell said. "Law enforcement, first responders, we love you too."

Coordinators from about eight agencies from across the country are participating in this tournament, and they're hoping to spread positive images to the community.

Officer Keith Anderson from Chicago Police Department said putting out positivity in the community is one way to fight for change.

"It's a different experience other than seeing us in uniform, and stuff they see on TV," Anderson said. "To actually know you're just a regular guy, a regular person.

As this tournament comes to a close, coordinators said they're already planning for next year.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.