Officer McKnight was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend two suspects who had robbed a market.
Officer McKnight, who was off duty, was shopping with his wife when the robbery took place. As the suspects fled from the store he followed and grabbed one of them. As the two struggled the suspect pulled a pistol and shot Officer McKnight through his neck. Minutes later a state trooper captured both suspects.
Both suspects were convicted of first degree murder on January 24, 1964. The gunman was sentenced to death. In 1971 his sentence was commuted to life. The other suspect was sentenced to life but was awarded a new trial in which he was cleared of the murder charge and convicted of armed robbery.
Officer McKnight was survived by his wife and two children.