Tags: cop | shoots | 70-year-old | man | cane | rifle

Cop Shoots 70-Year-Old Man After Mistaking Cane for Rifle

Friday, 28 Feb 2014 06:00 PM

By Ken Mandel

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A South Carolina police officer shot a 70-year-old man during a traffic stop because he thought the man was reaching for a rifle from the bed of his pickup truck, police told The Associated Press.

The man, who is expected to survive, was reaching for a cane.

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York County sheriff's spokeman Trent Faris said septagenarian Bobby Canipe of Lincolnton, N.C., was pulled over for an expired license tag on Tuesday evening. Canipe got out of the truck and reached into the bed for his cane, but Faris said York County deputy Terrence Knox thought it was a long-barreled rifle. The officer fired several times but only hit Canipe once.

Canipe was listed in fair condition at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., spokesman Kevin McCarthy told the AP.

"The situation is very unfortunate," Faris in a statement read at a news conference. "It does appear, at this time, that Deputy Knox's actions were an appropriate response to what he reasonably believed to be an imminent threat to his life."

The incident is the latest in a rash of recent shootings by officers. Last week, a teen boy who opened the door with a Wii controller in his hand was shot and killed by a police officer who thought it was a gun.

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In California in October 2013, a 13-year-old boy carrying a replica assault weapon was shot and killed when Sonoma County sheriff's officials mistook a toy guy he was carrying for a real one and allegedly gave him only 3 seconds to drop it before firing.

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