CLOVER, S.C. —Bobby Canipe was pulled over for an expired license plate by York County Sheriff’s Deputy Terrance Knox Tuesday night and ended up getting much more than a ticket out of the ordeal. When the 70 year old man got out of his truck and grabbed a walking cane out of the bed, Knox opened fire on him, striking him once in the stomach.
24 year old Knox claims that he thought the Vietnam veteran was reaching for a rifle and that his life was in danger so he fired several rounds at the man.
Canipe was rushed to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for his injuries where he underwent surgery Wednesday morning. He’s in fair condition now and recovering, according to close friends.
The sheriff of York County reviewed Knox’s dash cam footage and placed him on paid leave while the incident is investigated.
“It does appear at this time that Deputy Knox’s actions were an appropriate response to what he reasonably believed to be an imminent threat to his life,” Sheriff’s spokesman Trent Fais said.
Eyewitnesses recall seeing the Sheriff’s car moments before in a parking lot down the road, and Joe Ashwell said he thought the officer was shooting radar.
“I saw the truck go by and the cop pulled out after him, turned his blue light on,” Ashwell said.
“I guess he got him stopped over the top of the hill there,” then almost immediately after is when Ashwell said he heard the shots fired.
“The officer that had to do the shooting, he was really freaked out about it. He was screaming on the radio about needing help,” according to Ashwell.
Canipe was traveling with a female friend at the time and he was unarmed, according to Faris, who also said that immediate after the shooting Knox tried to help the injured Canipe.
“This is unfortunate, and we have been in contact with Mr. Canipe’s family, and understand he is expected to recover,” he said.
According to friends and family, Canipe is a disabled Vietnam veteran who needs his cane to walk with. He’s also active in the V.F.W. of Lincoln County, NC.
A friend of Canipe’s recalled how surprised he was upon hearing the news.
“It shocked me. I didn’t know the circumstances. I didn’t know what happened”, said Bobby Hoyle.
This is the ninth officer involved shooting for South Carolina this year and will be investigated by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Sheriff’s said that they do not plan to release the footage from Knox’s dash cam.