16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett said late Thursday the York County Sheriff’s Deputy who mistook an elderly man’s cane for a long gun earlier this year on a traffic stop — shooting him in the chest — will not face any charges.
Terrance Knox returned to his duties earlier his year following the February incident that landed Bobby Canipe, 70, in the hospital.
Dash cam video released by the Sheriff’s Office shows Canipe exiting his truck on the side of S.C. 49 during a traffic stop, grabbing a long object from the bed of his truck in a form that Knox thought was a gun.
Knox fired several shots at Canipe, striking him once in the abdomen.
“In every case there has to be criminal intent. You have to do the wrong thing and know what you’re doing is wrong,” Brackett said. “There is no question there was no criminal intent in this case.”
In a March 12 statement, York County Sheriff stopped short of calling the shooting justified but said Knox’s actions were understandable.
“The question is: At the time this officer pulled that trigger, did he feel like his life was in danger?” Bryant said. “I can say this: Any reasonable officer would have felt that way.”
Bryant put the bunk of the responsibility for the incident in Canipe and the lack of any state law directing what drivers should do in the event of being stopped by police.
“One of the things that you do not do — you do not exit the vehicle and go meet the police officer — you do not do that,” Bryant said. “You can, but there’s no law against it. That’s the sad part.”