Family seeks answers after father murdered outside South Nashville gas station

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Police continue searching for the 23-year-old man suspected of fatally stabbing another man outside of a south Nashville gas station in October.

According to Metro Police, Leonard McKnight Jr., 43, was stabbed after witnesses reported seeing an altercation between he and another man at the MapCo along Murfreesboro Pike at East Thompson Lane.

According to investigators, Omar Guillen-Garcia bought coffee for McKnight, who then demanded more. Witnesses said McKnight reportedly punched Guillen-Garcia, took his wallet and ran.

MORE: Man found stabbed to death outside South Nashville gas station

Police said Guillen-Garcia chased after McKnight, grabbed a “sharp instrument” and stabbed McKnight to death.

The victim’s wife, Danielle Wilson-McKnight, tells News 2 the story given by witnesses does not add up.

“From day one, it didn’t make sense to me,” said Wilson-McKnight. “It didn’t sound like my husband at all; he would not rob someone.”

Wilson-McKnight explained on the morning of October 21, 2019, she turned on the news to learn that an unidentified man had been stabbed to death at the MapCo near her job.

“Leonard would come to this MapCo for gas and coffee so it wasn’t unusual for him to be there,” she said. “That morning I said to myself, Leonard is not home and I don’t know why I feel weird about this.”

In the coming hours, Danielle would learn that her husband was the man she had heard about on the news.

Now, two months later, Danielle and her two daughters want justice.

Leonard McKnight Jr.
(Courtesy: Danielle Wilson-McKnight)

“He was a husband, son, father, uncle, brother and he was loved. I miss him a lot and I just feel like he was stolen, it’s so fresh,” she said. “Even if you get into an altercation, does it mean you should be chased down and stabbed to death?”

Police used surveillance video to identify Guillen-Garcia as a suspect in McKnight’s death.

A few days after the crime, a warrant was issued for Guillen-Garcia’s arrest on a charge of criminal homicide.

Police said on the morning of the crime, Guillen-Garcia was wearing a black jacket, khaki pants and brown shoes. The suspect has long hair on the top of his head and short hair on the sides.

Danielle said an arrest cannot bring her husband back but it would provide some closure for those who love him.

“We just ask that you please, please consider the situation we are in,” she said. “Consider our loss and our pain because it’s definitely painful and it hurts. We want closure and we deserve it.”

Anyone with information on the suspect’s whereabouts is urged to contact Nashville Crimestoppers at 615-74-CRIME or detectives directly at 615-862-7683.

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