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Beloved security guard remembered in Flint

By Audrey F. Muhammad | Last updated: May 13, 2020 - 2:03:59 PM

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FLINT—“Duper” is what he was affectionately called. He was also described as a “gentle giant.” To his loved ones he was referred to as a soulmate, father, son, nephew, cousin and friend. Calvin James Munerlyn, a 43-year-old father of eight, was gunned down while working as a security guard at a Family Dollar where he worked in Flint, Mich.

Community leaders, activists and citizens from across the globe have sent an outpouring of support for his wife and family. Hundreds gathered on Sunday, May 3 at the Family Dollar where he worked including his family and friends, culminating with a balloon release to celebrate his life.

Mr. Munerlyn’s family chooses not to focus on how he died, but rather on how he lived. His 11-year-old son and youngest of his children, Khalim said “God, he wanted him a little too early than we expected. As long as he’s up there with God, I’m Ok.”

Mr. Munerlyn was recently awarded father of the year at the school where his children attended. His daughter Cavetta was honored on her 18th birthday with her graduation diploma on May 7. She was a 4.0 graduate of Madison Academy and serves as her school’s secretary of the National Honors Society. Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley was present to celebrate and award her diploma, gifts and the key to the city in honor of her father. Arrangements have also been made by the 34th District State Representative Cynthia Neeley, wife of the mayor, to have a flag flown over the state capital in his honor.

Mr. Munerlyn was shot and killed May 1 after he allegedly told a woman she needed to wear a face covering in compliance with safety measures instituted because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer instituted an executive order mandating all employees and customers wear face coverings inside of grocery stores. According to media reports, the woman argued with Mr. Munerlyn then left the store. Two men arrived later and one of them shot Mr. Munerlyn in the back of the head. Sharmel Teague, 45, was arraigned May 6 in district court via video and is due back in court May 14. Her husband, Larry Teague, 44 and her son, Ramonyea Bishop, 23, face first-degree premeditated murder charges in the crime. Ms. Teague’s daughter Brya Bishop is also in custody and is charged with being an accessory to a felony, tampering with evidence and lying to police. At presstime, authorities had Mr. Teague and Mr. Bishop in custody. Shepherdess Katheryn Williams, a longtime Flint resident and historian lamented on the tragedy and attributed it to “The lack of self-love and no education of knowing who they are or where they come from, because of this, some young people have no respect for their elders and no respect for themselves, or for another person’s life.”

A GoFundMe was set up for the family has raised over $365,000, exceeding the original $10,000 goal. Some local residents started a petition to get Family Dollar to match all donations that have been given to the Munerlyn Family. The Family Dollar location that was the scene of the crime has since re-opened for business. Questions are emerging out of this tragedy, including what should Family Dollar and other businesses do to protect their employees and customers during these times?

Cathy Edwards said, “posting signs is a start, to warn people of the laws.” She also stated Family Dollar should compensate Mr. Munerlyn’s family “because he lost his life protecting their business.” Family Dollar Corporate office was not available for comment.

According to Mr. Teague was located by authorities at a motel in Houston,Texas that was rented under his name. Two people who were with Mr. Teague and allegedly helped him rent a vehicle, drove him to Texas and purchased him clothes, were also being charged with obstruction of justice, harboring a felon and being an accessory after the fact to a felon, the website reported. Mr. Bishop was apprehended in Bay City, Mich. Both men are being charged with first-degree premeditated murder and gun charges.

(Final Call staff contributed to this report)