Thursday, March 24, 2011
Here's another reason why the area around Graceland and Whitehaven needs major improvements. Imagine being a tourist who is unaware of the crime stats in the Graceland area, and you go up Elvis Presley Blvd to the Southland Mall to pick up something you forgot and you are in the middle of the scene above.In this video from last year, a 28 year old former Marine working as a security guard at the mall is shot dead in the middle of the afternoon. A young man who served our country, and protected citizens in the line of duty should not be dead at the age of 28. God Bless his family.
The citizens and local businesses that have remained in Whitehaven also deserve a safe community.
This is not to scare anyone away from traveling to Memphis but just to remind everyone that although we are vacation, we need to be aware of our surroundings at all times!
Be careful when traveling to Memphis or anywhere. Do not assume because it's Elvis Week, you're safe!
Complete story from the Commercial Appeal:
Marques Rainey served four years in the Marines, but his most dangerous job turned out to be working as a mall cop.
Rainey was shot in the chest while trying to break up a fight in the Southland Mall last year and is now buried at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. He was unarmed.
"Dead at the age of 28," state prosecutor Ray Lepone told a Criminal Court jury this week. "He didn't die in a car accident or from an illness or fighting for his country as a Marine. He died as a security guard, doing his job protecting the public. He died in the line of duty."
This week, the shooter, Terrell Loverson, 21, is on trial for first-degree murder and faces life in prison.
His lawyers said Loverson was carrying a gun because others were out to get him and that he reacted in self-defense when Rainey intervened in a fight and was aggressively trying to subdue their client.
"We are not denying that Mr. Rainey made his transition and we are not denying that Mr. Loverson was the one who shot him," said defense attorney Sam Perkins. "We are denying, however, that it was first-degree murder."
The shooting occurred at about 2:45 p.m. on Feb. 27 last year near the north entrance of the mall at Elvis Presley Boulevard and Shelby Drive in Whitehaven.
A security camera at mall tenant Sweetness Sweets captured the commotion and showed Rainey breaking up a fight between Loverson and another man. The videotape, which includes the fatal shooting, was played for jurors.
Rainey briefly detained Loverson, pinning him against a vending machine with his elbow pushed under the youth's chin.
Loverson was released and then broke free when another youth intervened.
"Once he released the guy, I thought that was it," mall barber Oscar Quinn testified Wednesday. "The guy stepped back, reached down (in his pocket) to get his gun and shot him and ran out the door."
Loverson, who was arrested later hiding in the attic of his girlfriend's home, also faces charges of striking a police officer and resisting arrest.
The shooting generated a call for more security in and around the Whitehaven mall and prompted a meeting involving mall officials, area businessmen, police officials and City Council members.
The trial before Judge W. Mark Ward continues today.