A South Carolina police officer shot a 70-year-old disabled military veteran during a routine traffic stop because the cop — 24-year-old Deputy Terrance Knox — thought the man was grabbing a gun. Instead, the veteran was reaching for the cane he uses to walk.
The man, Bobby Canipe, was driving his truck through Clover, S.C., on Tuesday night when he was pulled over by Knox for an expired license plate tag. After stopping, Canipe exited the vehicle to retrieve his cane from the back of the truck. Knox fired at Canipe multiple times, with one shot striking the disabled vet in the stomach. Knox later claimed that he thought the cane was a weapon, according to WSOC-TV.
Canipe was in surgery on Wednesday and is expected to make a full recovery. (RELATED: Cop tells student filming him: ‘You just lost your free speech rights!’ [VIDEO])
The York County police department admitted that the shooting was unfortunate, but said that Knox’s actions were “appropriate.”
“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,” said police spokesperson Trent Faris.
The shooting is being investigated, according to The Daily Mail.
Police have no plans to release the dashcam footage of the incident to the public.
Canipe is a Vietnam War veteran and is an active member in his local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter.