York County deputies say an officer shot a 70-year-old man reaching for a cane during a traffic stop because he thought the man was grabbing a rifle from the bed of his pickup truck.
Authorities said Wednesday that deputy Terrence Knox has been placed on paid leave while the State Law Enforcement Division investigates the shooting.
Sheriff's office spokesman Trent Faris said Knox stopped 70-year-old Bobby Canipe of Lincolnton, N.C., for an expired license plate Tuesday evening. Investigators say Canipe got out of his pickup and reached into the truck bed for his cane and Knox fired several shots, hitting Canipe once.
Deputies say Canipe, a disabled veteran, is expected to recover.
Faris says the shooting was unfortunate, but appeared to be appropriate because Knox felt an imminent threat to his life.
This was the 9th officer-involved shooting in South Carolina this year.
That puts the state at a pace of more than one person shot by an officer each week. The State Law Enforcement Division says officer-involved shootings are on the rise in South Carolina, with 42 reported in 2013, up from 27 people shot by officers in 2009.
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