Retired Cody High School coach fatally shot outside his home

Retired Cody High School coach fatally shot outside his home

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Coach Charles Knott worked at Cody High School for more than 20 years. Coach Charles Knott worked at Cody High School for more than 20 years.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

A high school community is in shock after a popular coach was gunned down in cold blood.  Students and staff at Cody High said Coach Charles Knott was dedicated to helping young people succeed.  So why would anyone want to kill him?

"Basically everything I know, I learned from Coach Knott," said Shatona Clark.

"He just gave that automatic love for the kids," said Calvin Norman, Cody High School's football coach.

When you find someone who has a true passion, a calling to help young people reach their potential, you never want to let them go.  That is how so many people feel about 54-year-old Charles Knott.

"A father, he was a coach, role model," Clark said.

"The girls really walked around school with a lot of pride.  That's something that I didn't see before until he came along," Norman said.

Knott was the girl's basketball coach at Cody and called the school his second home for more than 20 years.

"The tone was real intense.  The kids [were] very emotional today," Norman said.

Late Tuesday night, we're told Coach Knott was parked outside his apartment complex on the city's west side when he was approached by someone in a Jeep who pointed a gun at him and then pulled the trigger.

"He was gunned down, shot multiple times to death, left there to die," Clark said.

Friends said Knott had also been robbed.

"They say time heals all wounds.  At this point, I don't even know how because I don't even know how I can move on because it's so devastating," Clark said.  "He was like a dad to me."

His compassion extended well beyond his players.

"Players' families and players' neighbors and neighborhoods and everything," Clark said.

"A real quiet, smooth, subdued guy.  Even when he spoke, he spoke in a calm, humble-type voice.  I never really [saw] him get upset.  He had integrity," Norman said.  "He was a great guy, and I miss him already."

Grief counselors were on hand for anyone who needed to talk.  Coach Knott had recently retired, and everyone knew things would never be the same, but they did know they would see him around again helping people like he always did.  It's sad to know now that won't be the case.

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