York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant continues to show support for one of his agency’s deputies accused of shooting a Lincolnton man last month during a traffic stop.
Earlier today, the York County Sheriff’s Office released video footage recorded on the officer’s dashboard camera during the incident.
Deputy Terrance Knox, 24, is accused of shooting multiple times at Bobby Canipe, 70, after stopping the man’s pickup truck on Feb. 25.
The deputy said the man had an expired license plate.
During the stop, Canipe exited his vehicle to retrieve a cane in the truck bed, the York County Sheriff’s Office said.
Video footage showed Knox trying to communicate with the man during the incident, yelling “Sir” at him more than once.
Canipe failed to stop for the officer, the video showed.
The deputy proceeded to fire his gun at the man, first yelling “Whoa,” after spying the cane.
He then ran toward Canipe, asking him twice if he was OK. He also called for Emergency Medical Services to respond to the scene, later breaking down in tears and telling other first responders “I’m so sorry, ya’ll.”
Knox later admitted to thinking the object was a long-barreled rifle, prompting him to feel threatened and shoot.
Canipe, who suffered a bullet wound to the stomach, was rushed to Carolinas Medical Center-Main in Charlotte.
Investigators said the victim and a female friend had been passing through South Carolina, on their way home to Lincoln County and Shelby, where the woman lived, after spending the weekend at the Daytona 500 in Florida.
Bryant stated during an agency press conference Wednesday that he’s “not making excuses” for what Knox did but that if faced with a similar incident during his career, he would have responded in the same manner.
“I’ve been in this business 42 years,” he said, “and if the same thing happened to me (that) happened to Knox — it would have been the same result; I would have had to take the same action.”
Bryant believed neither party involved in the shooting did anything wrong.
He said he and other Sheriff’s Office officials have scrutinized the camera footage “time and time and time again.”
“The thing that we want to do is just to be able to say when everything is said and done (with the investigation) that what we did was right,” Bryant said.
The York County Sheriff also wants to contact state congressmen and the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association about passing laws to prevent similar future incidents.
“I will be talking to the members of the General Assembly and S.C. Sheriff’s Association…and see if we can get something passed in legislation that will require the S.C. Highway Department and every highway department in this country to put some instructions in our manuals about what to do when the police stop you,” Bryant said. “One of the things that you do not do is exit your vehicle and go meet the police officer.”
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is continuing to investigate the incident, which has been named the ninth officer-involved shooting in the state this year.
Knox has since been placed on administrative leave.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.