1 killed in shooting outside DeBary IHOP; person of interest ID’d, deputies say

Sammy McKnight Jr., 31, sought by Volusia deputies

Detectives with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office have named a person of interest and identified the victim in a fatal shooting Friday evening outside of an IHOP in DeBary.

DeBARY, Fla. – Detectives with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office have named a person of interest and identified the victim in a fatal shooting Friday evening outside of an IHOP in DeBary.

Sammy McKnight Jr., 31, of Palm Bay, is sought in connection with the shooting death of 36-year-old James Shirley, of DeBary, deputies said.

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Surveillance photos of Sammy McKnight Jr., courtesy of the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

The shooting occurred before 6:30 p.m. outside of the IHOP restaurant located at 320 Dirksen Drive. Deputies initially only said that one person had been shot and did not elaborate on their condition. In the update Saturday, deputies said Shirley was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Cadillac that the sheriff’s office was looking for has since been recovered in the Daytona Beach area, where deputies said McKnight may be located.

Anyone who should see McKnight or who has information on his whereabouts was asked to contact 911.

See our previous coverage of this story in the video player below:

Deputies in Volusia County are investigating a Friday shooting at an IHOP in DeBary. The shooting happened at the IHOP location at 320 Dirksen Drive just before 6:30 p.m.

About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.