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Knight became policeman because 'he wanted to help people'

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By The Staff

It’s a pleasant evening and he agrees to take his granddaughter on a bike ride. She’s only 9 years old and not allowed to ride by herself – it’s not safe. Minutes later tires squeal, a car flips and decisions are made. Their lives will never, ever be the same.

When Ray Knight was asked during the interview process at the Lancaster Police Department in 1985 why he wanted to be a policeman he said what a lot of people say.

“I want to help people.” The answer, like the man, was simple, honest and unpretentious. But Ray meant it. He did it for 17 years, and he tried to do it again last week.

Ray’s wife, Fran, was quoted in Wednesday’s edition of The Lancaster News saying the shooting was “senseless.” She is a nice person.

Here’s what I think: Ray was mercilessly shot for no good reason by a punk who, on his best day, was not worthy to clean Ray’s boots. Among the charges on this guy listed in The News is “possession of a pistol by a prohibited person.” Folks, you don’t become a “prohibited person” in the state of South Carolina because you got caught speeding, littering or because you failed to return a library book on time.

Policemen are a strange breed. While most people run away from trouble, law enforcement officers run to it.

During Ray’s years at the police department he was often in danger, but never seriously hurt. He’s hurting now.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to help him financially, an account has been set up at BB&T. Checks are to be made out to BB&T with “Ray Knight” written in the “for” section on the check.

Ray is at Carolinas Medical Center and would welcome a card, a prayer or both.

Ronnie Sowell

Lancaster