Officer McKnight, a 16-year veteran of the Sacramento Police Department, lost his life on July 23, 1963. While off-duty, he and his wife were shopping for supplies for a trip to their cabin. As they approached the check-stand, Officer McKnight noticed a robbery in progress. Leaving his wife in the store, the armed officer moved carefully and followed the lone suspect outside. As Officer McKnight approached the suspect at his getaway car, the suspect’s partner suddenly grabbed Officer McKnight from behind. A cocked gun was pushed against the officer’s neck, jerking him. The gun went off and a bullet penetrated Officer McKnight’s neck, killing him instantly. Officer McKnight was 38 years old.