During the stop, Bobby Canipe got out of his truck and grabbed his cane from the bed before being shot by Deputy Terrance Knox, 24, because the officer thought the walking aid was a weapon. Canipe was stopped for having an expired tag.
Canipe had surgery on Wednesday at Carolinas Medical Center after being struck in the stomach when Knox fired several times.
"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," sheriff's spokesman Trent Faris told WSOC. "This is unfortunate, and we have been in contact with Mr. Canipe's family, and understand he is expected to recover.”
Faris indicated that Knox attempted to assist Canipe after shooting him and witness Tim Harvell corroborated that story.
"When I drove up the road somebody was working with him, kind of laying under his truck," Harvell said.
The disabled Vietnam veteran was listed in fair condition on Wednesday night.