A South Carolina deputy shot an elderly Lincolnton man during a traffic stop on U.S. 321, officers said.
The York County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the incident closely and conducted a press conference with local media outlets Wednesday afternoon.
According to an agency press release, Deputy Terrance Knox shot Bobby Dean Canipe, 70, just after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in an area north of Clover, S.C.
Investigators reviewed video footage recorded from the deputy’s patrol vehicle during the incident, the release said.
The officer pulled Canipe’s vehicle over for an expired license plate near the intersection of U.S. 321 and Mosteller Street, deputies said.
Knox fired more than one shot at Canipe, striking him once, after the driver exited his truck and reached for a walking cane in the vehicle’s back bed, the release said.
The deputy told Sheriff’s Office officials he believed the man was reaching for a long-barreled weapon and felt threatened.
Knox “was forced to make a split second, life or death decision” and fire his gun, the agency release said.
The deputy assisted the victim until local emergency medical crews arrived on scene.
Canipe was transported to Carolinas Medical Center-Main in Charlotte, where he currently remains.
Family members told deputies they expect him to recover from his injuries.
The State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is investigating the shooting and will report all findings to the 16th Circuit Solicitor, deputies said.
Sheriff’s officials said that while they believe Knox responded appropriately “to what he reasonably believed to be an imminent threat to his life,” the incident remains “unfortunate.”
Knox has since been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.