Janarion Knox was one of two men shot and killed in a Hickory apartment in August 2017. His father still doesn’t know why his son died.
On Aug. 31, 2017, Hickory police officers were dispatched to Ridgecrest Apartments in Hickory around 4 p.m. after reports of shots fired, according to a previous HDR article.
Officers found Branique Stephan McKnight, 18, of Conover and Knox in an apartment both suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Both were pronounced dead on scene.
One of the men accused of killing Knox, Daniel Jeremiah Minton, 22, of Lenoir, has been arrested again and charged in connection with a shooting in November.
It’s a situation Janarion’s father struggles to understand.
Carlos Walker described his son Janarion as an average kid, with a lot of people who cared for him. “Don’t get me wrong, he has probably done some mischievous things as a kid,” Walker said. “But he wasn’t out there in the streets starting trouble.”
Walker said Knox was athletic and played football for St. Stephens High School. “That was the only sport he really played,” Walker said. “Tried baseball but baseball wasn’t his thing … he tried it in middle school.”
“I was out there watching him at practice,” Walker continued. “They hit a pop fly to him and hit him in his face. That was the end of baseball for him.”
Walker said Knox was close to his brother Rico Walker. “When I was working at night, they were together,” Carlos Walker said. “(The murder) affected my youngest son real bad.”
Carlos Walker said he saw Knox at Rico Walker’s football scrimmage. It would be the last time he saw his son alive. “(Janarion) was staying with his mama. We bumped heads. He thought he was grown,” Carlos Walker said. “His mama asked me if I would talk to him. I said ‘No. I’m not talking to him. He’s the one who needs to come talk to me.’ I didn’t talk to him. Next day he was dead. That just eats me up so bad that I didn’t talk to him.” Walker urges people to never go to bed angry at someone. “One of y’all may not wake up,” he said.
Walker said when he got a call about the shooting he tried calling Knox. “When I finally went where it happened … I saw the tape.”
Walker said an officer at the scene confirmed his worst fears. “It was a hard thing,” Walker said. “It’s hard for someone to lose a child.”
Daniel Minton was one of the two men arrested and charged in the death of Janarion. He was charged with two felony counts of murder, according to a previous HDR article.
Walker said he didn’t know Minton prior to the night his son died, and he doesn’t think his son knew him either.
Minton wasn’t granted a bond, at first, but that changed. Walker said he attended a follow-up bond hearing in 2017 and didn’t agree with the judge’s decision to give Minton a $500,000 bond.
Walker said he doesn’t understand how someone who is arrested on drug charges can be given a $1 million bond and someone on trial for two murders has a bond set at $500,000. “I don’t agree with none of it,” Walker said. “It gives him a chance to go kill more people.”
Minton was arrested for his involvement in another shooting on Nov. 18 — this time in the neighboring city of Lenoir.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Walker said hearing about Minton’s possible involvement in the shooting that sent one man to the hospital with serious injuries.
Minton was arrested along with two others, Derek Dusean Davis Jr., 21, and Jonathan David Minton, 24, according to a previous HDR article.
Daniel Minton was out on bond at the time of the Lenoir shooting, according to Catawba County court documents. He was given a bond of $100,000 in the Lenoir case.
Walker said his confidence in the court system has been shaken. “Nothing has been happening in two years,” he said.
In the spring of 2019, Daniel Minton’s case was referred to the state Attorney General’s office after District Attorney Scott Reilly stepped aside due to a conflict with the case, according to a previous HDR article. Since then, Walker said he has more faith that something will be done with the case. “I’m pretty sure they ain’t going to let me down,” Walker said.
Walker said he is frustrated that Daniel Minton was out on bond but hopes he will stay behind bars until he sees court again. “I still got a family to protect,” Walker said.
Walker said he has been to almost all of Daniel Minton’s court appearances and will continue to attend. “I’m still trying to put this together,” Walker said. “I want to know what happened to him and how it happened, but I don’t think that I’ll ever know.”
Walker said he hosts an annual cookout in honor of his son. The event allows his family to come together and remember Janarion.
“(Janarion) was kind-hearted,” Walker said. “He was respectful. Every now and again he would run off at the mouth, but he had a good heart. We miss him terribly.”
“To this day, it’s hard to believe he’s gone,” Walker said. “It’s just sad that he never had the chance to start his life.”
Walker said he still hopes justice will be served. Until then, he aims to make sure Janarion’s story is heard.