Sheriff: Man reaching for cane shot during traffic stop

by: Greg Suskin Updated:

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CLOVER, S.C. - The York County sheriff has reviewed the dash cam video of an officer-involved shooting, and placed the deputy responsible on paid leave during the investigation.
 
Deputy Terrance Knox, 24, stopped Bobby Canipe, 70, of Lincolnton, Tuesday night in Clover, for an expired tag. Deputies said Canipe got out of his truck and grabbed a walking cane out of the bed of his pickup. The deputy thought the cane was a weapon.
 
Knox fired his gun at Canipe several times, striking him once in the stomach area.  Close friends said Canipe had surgery Wednesday at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, and is expected to survive.
 
Eyewitnesses told Channel 9 they saw the sheriff's car moments before the shooting, parked in parking lot on 321.
 
It looked like the deputy was running radar, said Joe Ashwell.
 
"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."
 
It was a few minutes later when Ashwell heard shots fired. Canipe was unarmed, and there was also a female passenger in the truck with him, officials said.
 
Sheriff's spokesman Trent Faris said Knox reacted to what he thought was a threat.
 
"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," Faris said.
 
Friends of the family tell Channel 9 that Canipe is a disabled Vietnam veteran, who is active in the VFW in Lincoln County, N.C. One man, who didn't want to be identified, said it would be like him to get out and meet with an officer who pulled him over, instead of waiting in his truck.
 
Faris said Knox immediately tried to help Canipe after shooting him.
 
Tim Harvell was driving by, and said he saw that happening.
 
"When I drove up the road somebody was working with him, kind of laying under his truck," Harvell said.
 
Faris said the Sheriff's Office has reached out to the victim.
 
"This is unfortunate, and we have been in contact with Mr. Canipe's family, and understand he is expected to recover," he said.

"The officer that had to do the shooting, he was really freaked out about it. He was screaming on the radio about needing help," Ashwell said.
 
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is now investigating the ninth officer-involved shooting of the year in South Carolina. 
 
Knox is on leave until the investigation is over. The Sheriff's Department does not plan to release the dash cam video from the deputy's patrol car.

Another friend couldn't believe what happened to Canipe.

"It shocked me. I didn't know the circumstances. I didn't know what happened", said Bobby Hoyle.

 He said Canipe had undergone surgery for his gunshot wound.

He was listed in fair condition Wednesday night.

People near the scene told Channel 9 it was clear the deputy was badly shaken.