Family remembers youth football coach slain in front of players
Jermaine Knox was a father to one and a father figure to many.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The loved ones of a youth football coach gunned down in front of his players last month describe him as an innocent man who inspired those around him.
Jermaine Knox, 37, died outside the College Hill Recreation Facility on Larch Avenue on Oct. 18.
Knox’s fiancée, Landy Phillips says he was walking to his van after practice when a man approached and started shooting at Knox and another person.
Phillips was waiting for Knox to come home like any other night, thinking he’d just wrapped up practice without incident and was on his way.
Around 8 p.m., she got the call. Knox wasn’t coming home.
“I was thinking they may have meant someone else’s name,” she said. “I just couldn’t believe that it happened there. It was mind-blowing.”
Phillips dropped everything and ran to the shooting scene. She saw him lying on the ground with a friend of theirs performing CPR before the ambulance arrived.
“I just kept on yelling his name because they wouldn’t let me get close to him,” Phillips said. “So I was just yelling and trying to hope that he can hear me and listen for me to fight through it, just fight through it.”
Knox died where he was shot.
Cincinnati police are investigating. No motive or suspect information has been released.
Meanwhile, Knox’s loved ones are mourning him ahead of his funeral on Saturday. They say he was a teddy bear who loved his family and his football players.
“He’s an innocent man, a good man,” Phillips said. “And for somebody to be so envious of him for no reason... it’s just pathetic. I just don’t get it.”
Knox’s 11-year-old son, Jermaine Knox Jr. is shouldering the family’s burden.
“It’s been hard, but I got to stay hard for my family and stuff,” he said. “Karma will strike back at you. Just stay positive.”
Knox Jr. says he has to step up and be the leader in the house now.
“He was just everything to me, and anything I needed, he gave it to me,” he said.
Phillips says she’s been in communication with the families of the players who witnessed Knox’s murder to make sure they’re doing ok.
The second shooting victim is expected to recover.
Anyone with information is asked to contact CPD’s Homicide Unit: 513-352-3542.
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