Dashcam video released this week shows a South Carolina deputy breaking down in tears after shooting a 70-year-old man during a traffic stop last month.
York County, S.C. deputy Terrance Knox fired at Bobby Canipe after mistaking Canipe’s cane for a shotgun, according to the Associated Press. Knox had pulled Canipe over for an expired tag, and the dashcam video shows Canipe pulling over quickly after Knox put on his lights and siren. Canipe then gets out of his truck, and reaches for his cane in the truck bed. Knox can be heard yelling as Canipe swings the cane and points the end of it in his direction.
Knox ran up to Canipe after shooting him. According to the Associated Press, another officer arrived a few minutes after the shooting, and at that point Knox began to sob.
“I promise to God I thought it was a shotgun,” Knox said.
Canipe was hit once and has been released from the hospital, York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant told reporters this week. Knox has been put on administrative leave, and the State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the incident. According to WCNC, Bryant told reporters that Canipe didn’t intentionally do anything wrong when he reached for his cane. But Bryant said if he had been in the deputy’s place, he would have done the same thing.
“Watch the action of the walking cane,” Bryant said during a news conference Wednesday. “The question is, at the time this officer pulled the trigger, did he feel like his life was in danger? I can say this. Any reasonable officer would have felt that way. … I would have had to take the same action he did.”