For Deputy Terrence Knox, it began as routine traffic stop for a truck with expired tags.
But what happened after Knox pulled over Bobby Canipe, 70, one evening last month was anything but ho-hum — and dashcam video captured it all, reported WCNC-TV in Charlotte, N.C.
The clip shows Canipe’s Ford F-150 stopped on a highway shoulder just north of Clover, S.C. — near the North Carolina border, about 40 minutes from Charlotte — around 7:30 p.m. Feb 25.
Canipe is seen exiting his truck, reaching inside it, and pulling out what appears to be a long object — and that’s when Knox smelled trouble.
“Hey sir,” Knox is heard yelling to Canipe. “Sir. Whoa!”
Knox then fired multiple shots at Canipe, yelling, “Shots fired! Shots fired!”
“Drop the gun!” Knox yelled at Canipe.
But Canipe wasn’t holding a gun — it was a cane.
Knox ran to Canipe and asked him if he is OK.
“Oh, it hurts,” Canipe replied.
Knox is heard radioing for help and saying what sounds like Canipe was hit in “the stomach.”
There are conflicting reports regarding where Canipe was shot. WCNC reported he was shot once in the leg; The Herald in Rock Hill, S.C., reported it was once in the chest. The York County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately return a request for comment from TheBlaze.
Canipe’s passenger was Carolyn McEntire, the Herald reported, who is seen exiting the truck and saying, “Lord, please help him … please help him … please help him … oh God, please help him.”
Soon Knox began crying. “He pulled his cane out,” Knox is heard saying. “It looked like a shotgun, I promise to God.”
“Oh, God, forgive me,” Knox said. “I’m so sorry, sir.”
Here’s the raw dashcam video of the traffic stop and shooting via Live Leak. (Content warning: The clip includes images of Knox firing at Canipe as well as some profanity):
Canipe told Knox that he and McEntire were on their way back to North Carolina after attending a car race in Florida, the Herald reported. McEntire is heard continuing to pray, saying she and Canipe were “innocent people just going home…we’re just only human beings.”
“It looked like a shotgun, I promise to God,” Knox is heard telling fellow officers at the scene as he’s weeping. “I tried to tell him to stop, but he didn’t stop. Forgive me, God … forgive me.”
York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant said neither Knox nor Canipe did anything intentionally wrong in what was an “unfortunate” incident. But Bryant emphasized at Wednesday’s press conference that drivers stopped by police shouldn’t exit their vehicles and that he would have taken the same action as Knox if he were in his shoes at that traffic stop.
“I stand behind this officer,” Bryant said of Knox, who is on administrative leave until the investigation is over.
“Watch the action of the walking cane,” Bryant said, motioning with an arm like Canipe does on videotape — ending with the cane pointed at Knox, WCNC reported.
“The question is, at the time this officer pulled the trigger, did he feel like his life was in danger?” Bryant noted, according to WCNC. “I can say this. Any reasonable officer would have felt that way. I would have had to take the same action he did.”
Bryant added that he will ask lawmakers to create a manual for drivers regarding what they should do when pulled over by police.
This story has been updated.