CLOVER, SC — A senior citizen was shot during a traffic stop when a police officer stopped him for expired tags and mistook his walking stick for a gun.
The incident occurred on the evening of February 25th, 2014. As 70-year-old Bobby Dean Canipe drove down Highway 321 with a female friend, he was pulled over by a young deputy for having an expired license plate. The two were driving through South Carolina on a return trip from Florida back to North Carolina. The pair had watched the Datona 500 together.
Mr. Canipe, a veteran of the Vietnam War, stopped his truck when signaled. Without being prompted, he then proceeded to step out of his pickup truck to see what the problem might be.
Lacking the strength to walk properly, Mr. Canipe then reached into his truck to pick up his walking stick, as he had done countless times before. But this time was different. Canipe was in the presence of a police officer.
“Sir… Sir… Woah, woah!!” the deputy yelped. He opened fire on the man, firing multiple rounds toward the truck.
Mr. Canipe slumped against the truck. “Drop the gun!” the deputy shrieked. When the septuagenarian doubled over, wobbling on his cane, the deputy realized what he had done. He rushes in to help.
“I’m disabled and I was trying to get my cane out,” Canipe explained, as his female friend becomes frantic.
“That’s all I ask I ask of you Lord, is please help him and take care of him Lord,” the woman is heard saying on the video. “We were just innocent people going home. There wasn’t a thing wrong with us.”