No charges will be filed against a York County sheriff’s deputy who shot and wounded an unarmed 70-year-old man at a traffic stop in Clover earlier this year.
Dashboard camera video showed that Deputy Terrance Knox fired on Bobby Canipe after the latter reached into the bed of his pickup truck and grabbed what Knox believed was a shotgun. It was actually a cane. Canipe had to be hospitalized, but has since recovered from his injuries.
16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett, who led the state investigation, said Knox’s actions were understandable. “In every case, there has to be criminal intent,” he told Rock Hill station WRHI. “You have to do the wrong thing and know that what you’re doing is wrong. There has to be an intention to break the law. And there’s no question there was no criminal intent in this case.”
The deputy had stopped Canipe in February for an expired tag when the driver got out of his pickup truck and reached into its bed for a cane. In the video Knox, who told his superiors he thought the cane was a shotgun, can be heard yelling “Sir!” from his patrol car several times in an attempt to get Canipe’s attention. Eventually, he shouts “Whoa! Whoa!” and begins firing seconds after Canipe pulled out the object.
Brackett said the whole incident took place in less than four seconds and the dash cam video shows Knox immediately rendered first aid upon realizing his mistake. Investigators say Knox fired six shots, one of which hit Canipe in the stomach.
York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant immediately defended Knox’s actions at the time.
Brackett’s decision effectively closes the state’s probe into the matter.
Andrew Kiel of Rock Hill station WRHI contributed to this report