Police release photos of suspects they believe gunned down 24-year-old East Point man in robbery

EAST POINT, Ga. — East Point police have released surveillance photos of suspects they believe were involved in the shooting death of a 24-year-old man who caught them trying to break into his car.

Knox Panter was shot and killed in the Jefferson Park neighborhood on Friday night. Family friends said he heard a noise outside his grandparent’s home and went outside to find two men trying to break into his work truck.

When he confronted the men, they shot him and sped away from the scene. Panter died at the hospital.

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On Monday, police released photos of men who were spotted on surveillance video trying to break into cars nearby earlier in the night. Police believe they were also likely the men who shot Panter.

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Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was in East Point Monday, where she talked to Panter’s longtime family friend Donald Pridgen.

“He was humble, he was self-aware, he was a hard worker,” Pridgen said.

Panter was a childhood cancer survivor who also lost his mother to the disease in 2012. Pridgen said the young business owner remained very close with his family and lived at his grandparents home so that he could help care for them.

“He just lost his grandfather, which was at an age that you can expect, but a 24-year-old just starting his life, it’s... You can’t put it into words,” Pridgen said.

Panter was already on high alert because there had been a rise in car break-ins in the neighborhood for the last month.

Neighbors said they have been complaining to City Council for the last few years about constant car break-ins, but so far, no one has been arrested. Some neighbors wish there had been more of a police presence in the neighborhood, especially after they reported so many previous break-ins.

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Pridgen is begging anyone who knows anything about Panter’s death to come forward.

“If anyone in the Jefferson Park area saw anything strange, even if you think it’s insignificant, but it just looked out of place, please turn that into the East Point Police Department and hopefully they can piece it together and make sense of it,” Pridgen said. “Let’s bring these people to justice.”

The family has started a GoFundMe to help pay for Panter’s funeral expenses.

Anyone who recognizes these men is asked to call East Point detectives at 404-761-2177 or email aglover@eastpointcity.org.