Man arrested in Tenn. in shooting death of renowned gay equestrian


Brett Knight (left, booking photo) and Ross Reisner.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — An arrest was made Wednesday by the U.S. Marshals Service in connection with the shooting death of renowned, openly gay Long Island equestrian riding instructor Ross Reisner.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals Service in Knoxville, Tenn., told LGBTQ Nation on Thursday that 45-year-old Brett Knight, was apprehended at a house in rural Seymour County south of Knoxville by U.S. marshals and a local law enforcement special ops team at around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.


Brett Knight (left, booking photo) and Ross Reisner.

The spokesperson said that Knight was arrested without incident and that two handguns had been recovered on the scene. He will face an extradition process on a homicide warrant out of Suffolk County, N.Y.

No additional charges are expected to be filed in Tennessee.

The nationwide search for Knight was initiated after Reisner, 50, and his longtime partner Kevin Murray, were sitting on a couch at about 8:45 p.m. September 24 when an unknown gunman, using a high-caliber weapon, fired multiple rounds through the window of the victim’s East Setauket home on Long Island.

Reisner was shot in the chest and died later at Stony Brook University Hospital. Murray was grazed by a bullet and did not require medical treatment.

“This is not a random act,” Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Suffolk homicide squad told LGBTQ Nation during the initial investigation.

“Given the information we possess, I believe they were fired on by someone who was intentionally firing on them. The shooter or shooters entered the yard and fired shots through a window,” said Fitzpatrick.

Article continues below

Suffolk Police said that Knight, a former American Express executive, was an estranged friend of Reisner who had once lived with the couple in a rented basement apartment in their home, and that Murray had once filed a harassment complaint against Knight.

Knight was eventually evicted by the couple for erratic behavior, according to Ian Reisner, Ross Reisner’s brother.

Just months before Reisner’s murder, someone sent a dead bird to the horse trainer’s home, said Ian Reisner.

Ian Reisner, speaking on behalf of the family Wednesday evening, expressed relief after Knight’s arrest. “The family is relieved that we are closer to resolution on this tragedy,” an e-mailed statement read.

The U.S. Marshals Service and Suffolk Police have not disclosed Knight’s location, or when or where Knight will be arraigned.

This Story Filed Under