UPDATE JUNE 21, 2022, 10:06 PM: According to authorities, murder suspect Sammy McKnight Jr. was arrested in Daytona Beach by members of the Sheriff’s Office and Daytona Beach Police Department’s Crime Suppression Team. McKnight was taken into custody after a short foot chase. He was transported to the VSO Operations Center prior to being taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail. Sheriff Chitwood will be personally delivering a $5,000 reward to the tipster who called in McKnight’s location.
UPDATE JUNE 20, 2022, 3:26 PM: REWARD OFFERED – Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood announced a $5,000 reward is now available for information leading to Sammy McKnight Jr.’s arrest. Call 911 with any tips.
DEBARY, FL – On Friday, June 17, 2022, at approximately 6:30 p.m., Volusia County Sheriff’s detectives began investigating an evening shooting reported outside an IHOP restaurant on Dirksen Drive in DeBary.
According to authorities, an investigation indicated the shooting occurred during an altercation between two men outside the IHOP. After the victim was shot, the shooter fled the area. The victim, 36-year-old James Shirley of DeBary, did not survive his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Shortly thereafter, detectives identified a person of interest in the shooting as being Sammy McKnight Jr., 31. McKnight’s most recent address is in Palm Bay but detectives believe he may be in the Daytona Beach area. A Cadillac CTS sedan that was sought in connection to the investigation was recovered in the Daytona Beach area.
McKnight currently has an open warrant for failure to appear on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Detectives have now also obtained a warrant for McKnight Jr.’s arrest on a charge of second degree murder. Anyone who spots McKnight or has information about his whereabouts is asked to contact 911.