Cop's Shooting of Unarmed 70-Year-Old Man Deemed 'Appropriate Response'

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A South Carolina sheriff's deputy who shot an elderly man for reaching for a cane appears to have acted appropriately, according to the sheriff's office.

York County deputy Terrance Knox stopped a pickup truck driven by 70-year-old Bobby Dean Canipe for having an expired license plate. Canipe got out of his truck and reached into its bed for his cane. Knox thought the cane was a rifle and shot at Canipe several times. He hit him once. Canipe is in the hospital and expected to survive. He was traveling with a 74-year-old woman who was not hurt.

"Deputy Knox was forced to make a split second, life or death decision," Sheriff's office spokesman Trent Faris said in a press conference. "The situation is very unfortunate. 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; however, a full internal investigation will be conducted. Deputy Knox has been placed on paid administrative leave pending a full investigation."

If that investigation is anything like the one conducted after eight officers shot at two unarmed women 103 times because they thought the women were accused cop killer Chris Dorner, then Knox will simply have to undergo some additional training. If it's anything like the investigation conducted into another cop who shot at another unarmed man believing he was accused cop killer Chris Dorner, then Knox will be let off without any punishment at all.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.