Atlanta teacher who ‘impacted the community’ shot and killed after carjacking

Ricardo Knox was a beloved Atlanta teacher who was ambushed outside of his apartment

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A beloved fourth-grade teacher in Atlanta is being remembered for inspiring others after he was fatally shot by a suspected carjacker.

Ricardo Knox, 28, taught math at Slater Elementary School in Atlanta but his life came to a tragic end on Monday evening. The Atlanta native was ambushed and shot outside of his apartment complex at Westhaven at Vinings according to Sgt. Wayne Delk of the Cobb County Police Department, Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Ricardo Knox
(Credit: Ricardo Knox/Facebook)

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Knox was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital and pronounced dead. There are no suspects as of yet but Delk gave an update Thursday that investigators are “actively following up on leads.”

Loved ones have struggled to grapple with the unexpected loss of a man who devoted his life to giving back. His bio on Twitter professed the desire to “not only invest in building intelligence in our scholars but character as well.”

Knox also had a keen interest in fashion. His clothing such as sneakers and sweatshirts were customized items that he sold online and his apartment resembled an interior designer’s haven.

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“There’s no one that did the things that he did, set the expectations that he did, influenced the community like he did, in the small amount of time that he did, at such a young age, that he impacted so many people,” Diamond Knox said of her brother to 11 Alive.

“He came here and did what he was set out to do. He left that legacy. He built the bridges for so many scholars to succeed,” she added.

She shared with the outlet the final text that her brother sent to her.

“They love you…everyone does,” the Nov. 10 text read. “Who doesn’t like Diamonds? You’re awesome sauce. Continue to show the world what real Black women magic is. Always thank the Lord and remain humble.”

Tisa Smith fondly recalled the mantra her cousin lived by which is that one had to first believe in themselves.

“If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will,” Smith told AJC.

Smith continued, “He worked to inspire, because he himself was an inspiration.”

Ricardo Knox
(Credit: Ricardo Knox family)

Smith added that her cousin wanted to model to other African American children, especially those who were at risk, about what was possible in their lives.

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“We grew up in southwest Atlanta, not very wealthy by any means financially, but certainly with a lot of love as a family,” she said. “His mission was to show other young, black children that you could rise above any circumstances as long as you worked hard.”

Dr. Tonya Williams-Saunders taught alongside Knox at Slater Elementary School and had given him the nickname of ‘Fort Knox’. It was a term of endearment because of his no-nonsense style of teaching.

“I often called him Fort Knox. Because he ran everything like a tight ship, I told him he was like an army base. He kept everything on point, intact,” she said to 11 Alive. “The kids knew that he loved them.”

A funeral will be held on Tuesday for Knox but will be limited in who can attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A GoFundMe has been set up by the family to keep his “legacy” alive.

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