A York County, South Carolina deputy broke down in tears after shooting an elderly man during a routine stop, WSPA7 reported March 12.
Canipe made the mistake of exiting his truck without acknowledging the officer, where he then reached into the truck bed and pulled out a long, slim object, which he pointed at Knox. Officer Knox yelled ‘whoa’ several times before firing six shots at the man.
According to a police report, Canipe shouted
“It’s a walking stick.”
By then it was too late. Knox was in tears by the time backup officers arrived on scene saying
“I promise to God I thought it was a shotgun.”
Sheriff Bruce Bryant, a 42-year veteran of law enforcement, defends his officer, reminding them that an officer can’t wait to see a muzzle flash before firing at an armed suspect. By then it’s too late.
He asked reporters to put themselves in Officer Knox’ position: a traffic stop after dark, a subject who ignores his orders and proceeds to arm himself in what appeared to be a shotgun. Bryant went so far as to state he’d have acted in the same manner as his officer.
Knox can be seen running over to the injured man, who was struck once and is expected to recover. Canipe went so far as to assure the deputy he would be fine, despite his injury.
Canipe’s female friend said they were just driving home and weren’t doing anything wrong at the time they were pulled over. She instructed the injured man to call his family using his cell phone.
Then she begins to pray as Officer Knox continues to ask questions of the victim.
Kristie Jordan, attorney for the York Sheriff’s department, said Knox was out in the open with no cover and did what he felt he had to do. Knox was trying to get behind his cruiser as he fired the shots.
He’s been placed on administrative need while South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigates the shooting. SLED will then file a report with the prosecutor’s office and it will be determined then as to whether any charges will be filed against Knox.
York County is where a 9-year-old chained dog was shot just last week by a sheriff’s deputy. Between that tragedy, and now the shooting of a handicapped man, social media has put the department on the hot seat. Bryant made a media statement about this latest case saying
“If I have a police officer I thought wasn’t afraid of anything, I wouldn’t want him working for me. Officers fear just like you fear.”
One part of this shooting I find disturbing is that Knox allegedly hadn’t run the tag for a background check on the driver. If he had, perhaps he’d have learned he’d be facing a 70-year-old handicapped man.
Sorry, Sheriff Bryant, you’re two for two now with your officer’s. Apparently, they’re afraid of old men, as well as dogs.