It has just been announced that York County Deputy Terrence Knox, the officer who shot a 70-year-old man during a routine traffic stop back in February, will not be charged for the incident.
Knox shot the elderly man, who is a disabled war veteran, after mistaking his walking cane for a shotgun. Feeling threatened, the officer fired his gun six times, striking the victim once.
Solicitor Kevin Brackett, who was hired to investigate the incident, told the State Law Enforcement Division that the shooting was "an accident" and that Knox had "no criminal intent," reports the Charlotte Observer.
The calamity began when Knox pulled over 70-year-old Bobby Canipe of Lincolnton, N.C. for having an expired license plate.
According to the reporter who saw the dash cam footage from Knox's cruiser, Canipe got out of the pickup without acknowledging the presence of the police officer who had pulled him over.
As the elderly man walked to the bed of his pickup truck, Knox yelled, "Sir" three times. Canipe, who ignored these yells (or possibly did not hear them), reached into the bed of his truck and pulled out his cane.
Knox, who saw the cane and mistook it for a shotgun, yelled "whoa" multiple times while firing his gun at the senior citizen. After being struck once, Canipe told the officer that it was "a walking stick".
Kevin Brackett, the solicitor who decided that there was no foul play or abuse of power involved in the incident, wrote in his letter to the State Law Enforcement Division, "In the split seconds he had to assess the situation in the darkness his fear was entirely reasonable."
While he was on administrative leave for months following the incident, Terrence Knox has been permitted to return to work.