by: Greg Suskin Updated:
YORK, S.C. - For the first time Wednesday, Channel 9 saw the video of an officer-involved shooting that happened Feb. 25 in York County.
Deputy Terrance Knox fired on an unarmed 70-year-old man, when his mistakenly thought the man's walking cane was a gun.
The disturbing and emotional video shows Knox pulling over Bobby Canipe on Highway 321 north of Clover for an expired tag.
On the dashcam video, Canipe is shown stepping out of his truck and walk toward the bed of his Ford F-150. Knox sees Canipe walking and starts yelling at him.
"Hey! Sir! Sir! Sir! Hey! Hey! Hey!" Knox yells.
At that moment, Canipe raised the cane from the bed of the truck and swung it over the edge of the bed.
That's when multiple shots are fired, and one strikes Canipe in the chest.
Knox is still at his car, and you hear him screaming into his microphone, “Shots fired! Shots fired! Drop the gun! Drop the gun!”
At that point, Canipe was leaning against his pickup, still standing up.
Knox ran toward him and sees that what he thought was a shotgun is a walking cane.
He immediately started to help the victim, as a female passenger gets out of the truck, and is hysterical, asking what happened, and why Canipe was shot.
On the tape, you can hear Knox in agony. He repeatedly apologizes and appears to be crying.
You can also hear Canipe's voice telling the deputy he'll be OK, as he sits down on what looks like the running board of the truck.
From then on, the deputy is very emotional; telling other arriving officers he thought the man had a shotgun. He also tells them that Canipe wouldn't follow his instructions.
Though the investigation is ongoing, and Knox is still on leave, Sheriff Bruce Bryant said this about the incident.
“This officer felt at the time that he pulled the trigger, that his life was in danger, and I stand behind this officer," he said.
Bryant said he plans to push for a law change that would require information in the driver's manual about what to do when you're pulled over by any law enforcement officer.
"I don't think many people could tell me what you're supposed to do in that situation," he said. "We need a law passed."
Bryant was quick to say that Canipe didn't do anything wrong, but he added an instruction for drivers who are stopped.
"With the society we live in today, one of the things you do not do, you do not exit your vehicle and go meet the officer," he said.
Canipe is recovering from his injury. He has not commented publicly since the shooting incident.
The sheriff said one of the reasons the video was released, is because the department has been the target of angry calls and harsh social media comments from across the nation.
Sheriff's Office attorney Kristie Jordan called some of the public response appalling.
"People have been calling using the most vile, vulgar and demoralizing language and spewing venom at the officer involved," she said. "The people taking the brunt of those horrible calls are secretaries, not the sheriff."
The response also follows another incident where another deputy shot and killed a dog on March 4 in Rock Hill. That video was also shown to reporters Wednesday. The shooting itself happens off camera, but the gunshot is heard. The deputy involved in that incident said the dog charged him, and he didn't have time to get away.
"These are unfortunate situations," Bryant said. "But I don't see that either of these officers made a mistake, in my opinion."