Community mourns MPD officer killed in crash; suspect has long criminal history

Tennessee

The Mid-South is mourning the death of a Memphis Police Lieutenant, killed in an off-duty accident overnight.

According to investigators, 50-year-old Marquell Griffin crashed into the back of MPD Lt. Myron Fair’s car around 12:30 a.m. Thursday at Austin Peay Highway near Yale Road in Raleigh. 

Lt. Fair, a 25-year veteran who worked at the Ridgeway precinct, was about to retire. In 2004, Fair was shot in the line of duty and received the MPD’s service medal.

The men and women of the department say they are heartbroken by the loss of a dear friend and coworker.

“If you met him, it was like, you did not meet a stranger,” says Lt. Fair’s cousin Natasha Richey. “Myron was awesome. He was a beautiful spirit.”

Family members of Memphis Police Lieutenant Myron Fair call him a superhero. 

“He has a servant’s heart, and he believes in helping the fellow man, and he loved his community. He loved Memphis. He loved what he did, and he was just like our superhero,” says Richey. “He was invested in his community and as you know he was a decorated officer.”

According to Memphis Police, Lt. Fair was at the intersection of Austin Peay Highway and Yale Road when Griffin slammed into the back of Fair’s personal car, sending it airborne. Witnesses say Fair’s car flipped several times and Griffin got out of his vehicle and walked up to a nearby Exxon. 

Police say Lt. Fair died on the scene. Officers found Griffin sitting outside the Exxon fiddling with keys. They say he appeared intoxicated and took him to the hospital. Griffin was treated, released, and arrested. Griffin has been charged with DUI, Reckless Driving, Vehicular Homicide, Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Local 24 News has learned Griffin has a long criminal history dating back to 1988 when he was charged with aggravated assault and carrying a deadly weapon. He’s also been charged with theft and aggravated burglary. His first DUI charge was in 1997. According to Memphis police, Griffin has three prior DUI charges plus a suspended license, along with drug possession charges. 

Lt. Fair’s Family still can’t process their superhero is gone. 

“What he has done will change our lives forever,” Richey continued. “It was an unnecessary act that can’t be replaced.”

Memphis Police director Mike Rallings talked to the media on the scene. In a post on MPD’s Facebook page, he said, “This is a tough time for the Memphis Police Department. We ask the public to keep the entire Memphis Police Department Family and our off-duty Lieutenant in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.”

Lt. Fair leaves behind a wife and two children. We’re told Lt. Fair’s wife works for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Family also told us they have a daughter, and their son is about to graduate. 

Griffin is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow. No bond has been set yet. 

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