Sheriff’s Office: Deputy’s actions an “appropriate response”

Posted February 26, 2014 4:47 pm | Filed under Crime and Courts, Featured, Local News

140226-ycso-001Andrew Kiel |
A preliminary investigation by the  York County Sheriff’s Office indicates Tuesday night’s shooting of an unarmed man was an, “appropriate response.”

Around 7:30 p.m., Deputy Terrance Knox initiated a traffic stop on U.S. 321 north of the Town of Clover for an expired license plate.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris said during the traffic stop, Bobby Canipe, 70, exited his truck and reached into the truck bed for what investigators say was a walking cane.

Canipe was shot at least once in the upper torso, Faris said, and was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center.

Knox, a three-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was placed on administrative leave while the S.C. Law Enforcement Division conducts an independent investigation.

“This was an unfortunate incident,” Faris said. York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant was not present for an afternoon press conference outside the Moss Justice Center Wednesday afternoon. “It does appear at his time that Deputy Knox’s actions were an appropriate response to what he reasonably believed to be an imminent threat to his life.”

In November, Knox was a guest on Higher Definition, a Sunday morning religious program aired on WRHI. Knox spent nearly an hour explaining South Carolina’s gun laws and the importance of firearm safety. In a segment of the Nov. 17. 2013 program discussing the use of deadly force, Knox explained he had never had to use his weapon on duty, and hoped to finish his career never doing so.

“It is a tough, tough decision. You gotta remember — you’re not going to be the judge of it,” Knox said. “Other people will be the judge of that decision.”

The investigation into Tuesday’s shooting, as Knox explained, is now being handled by a third party — the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

SLED spokesman Thom Berry declined to comment on a timeline of the investigation. The agency is typically called in to independently probe officer-involved shootings.

An on-board camera in Knox’s patrol car did capture the incident, but the video has not been released. WRHI has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Sheriff’s Office to obtain the video, as have other media outlets.

Video of the press conference is posted below.