‘Same thing with Phil Trenary’: Friends say Glenn Cofield died in similar circumstances as former chamber leader

Published: Jun. 10, 2019 at 6:05 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Police are still looking for the person who took the life of 57-year-old Glenn Cofield.

Friends remember the successful businessman as charitable and always working alongside several nonprofits to improve Memphis.

“There’s deep grief. We’ve lost a family jewel to the community. This was a high-quality individual,” said Rick Carr, JIFF.

According to police, Cofield was shot Friday night in the parking lot of Greater Lewis St. Missionary Baptist Church as he left a fundraising event for St. Jude.

Investigators say Cofield and the suspect had a verbal exchange when the suspect shot Cofield, killing him.

Rick Carr worked with Cofield on the board of JIFF, or Juvenile Intervention and Faith-Based Follow-Up.

JIFF's goal is to prevent juvenile offenders from entering a life of crime.

“They had no idea whose life they took. This was a man who would love on them despite the fact that they were trapped in these destructive behavioral practices. He was giving back to help them,” said Carr.

Those who knew Cofield are drawing comparisons between his murder and the recent murder of another high-profile Memphian.

“A few months ago, we were talking about the same thing with Phil Trenary,” said Ed Galfsky, Carnival Memphis.

Phil Trenary, president of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce, was shot and killed last September while walking on Front street. He had just left a charity event.

McKinney Wright Jr and Quandarius Richardson are awaiting trial for Trenary’s murder.

Now, Cofield's friends are wondering what needs to be done to keep people safe.

“This city needs people like Glenn Cofield and Phil Trenary. And despite these evil circumstances, there are people that will carry on the work that Glenn and Phil Trenary were working,” said Sam Graham, friend of Cofield.

Carr says the city of Memphis needs to invest in more nonprofits, like JIFF, that are helping reduce recidivism.

He’s also calling on Memphians to honor Cofield’s legacy by volunteering or donating to help the city improve, just as Cofield was doing when he was killed.

“We also can get involved financially with some ofthe organizations that we know are making a difference and support what Glenn supported,” said Carr.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says the city is focusing on after school programs to get youth active and away from trouble.

He hopes the recent increase of officers will have an positive affect on crime rates.

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