ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The man accused of fatally stabbing his employer at a construction site along Florida’s Turnpike was childhood friends with the victim, the victim’s family said.
William Knight, 28, who went by his middle name, Steven, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies were called shortly before 10:45 a.m. to the stabbing at Exit 254, near South Orange Blossom Trail and West Taft Vineland Road.
Around 6:20 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office tweeted that they have arrested 28-year-old Mason Toney in connection with the stabbing after he fled the area in a white Dodge Ram.
Within the last two weeks, Knight helped his longtime friend Toney, who was down on his luck, get a job, Knight’s family told Channel 9.
“He would get up early in the morning and he would pick up his friend,” said Knight’s mother Julia Knight.
As she spoke, Julia Knight clutched her son’s safety vest, wringing it in her hands and thinking about her son’s act of kindness.
“My son goes, 'Mason needs help,’ so he got him a job,” Julia Knight said.
Knight left for work in his brand-new truck as he did the past few weeks to pick up Toney, Julia Knight said.
“We were expecting him to come home tonight in the truck,” she said. “He never came home.”
Toney was taken in handcuffs to Orange County Jail, accused of stabbing and killing Knight. He did not answer questions from reporters as he was walked into the jail Monday evening.
The family looked through photos Monday night, remembering the light that Knight brought into the world.
“He would help anybody,” his father Bill Knight said. “I know I keep saying that, but he would help anybody.”
They’re asking others to remember Steven’s daily mission to spread love and laughter, no matter what.
“His charm, his laughter, his wit -- it was a comedy show with him,” his father said. “When my son and I always got together, it was an awesome time. And those days, I’ll miss him.”
Knight’s family said they’re meeting with the construction company tomorrow, and that the company has already reached out to offer condolences. His family is asking anyone with pictures of or with Knight to email them to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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