Florence County SD

1 officer dead, 6 others wounded in South Carolina shooting; disabled vet in custody

October 03, 2018 - 6:28 pm
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FLORENCE, S.C. (AP/1010 WINS) — A police officer was killed and six of his comrades were wounded when authorities said an elderly man began shooting at deputies who came to serve a search warrant, barricading himself in his home with children and spraying bullets across his upscale suburban neighborhood.

The sheriff's armored personnel carrier was brought in to recover the wounded during Wednesday's two-hour standoff, and the shooter finally released the children as he was taken into custody, authorities said.

"Officers went there unknowing the firepower the suspect had," Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone said at a news conference.

"Fire was being shot all over. The way this suspect was positioned, his view of fire was several hundred yards. So he had an advantage. The officers couldn't get to the ones who were down."

Authorities identified the shooter as Frederick Hopkins, 74, a disabled Vietnam veteran and disbarred lawyer who has faced several charges in recent years, starting with a 2014 count of disorderly conduct.

The violence stunned people already dealing with record flooding from Hurricane Florence. Both the sheriff and police chief cried as they spoke to reporters after the standoff.

The slain officer, Terrence Carraway, 52, of Darlington, had just been honored for his 30 years of service with the Florence Police Department.

"I want you to pray for the family who lost the bravest police officer I have ever known," said his chief, Allen Heidler.

WIS-TV reported Thursday that Florence County Chief Deputy Glenn Kirby identified the suspect Thursday as 74-year-old Fred Hopkins. Kirby said Hopkins was hospitalized with a head injury and unable to speak with officers.

Kirby also said that the search warrant involved an accusation that a 27-year-old person at the home sexually assaulted a foster child who lives in the home. Three Florence County deputies had come to serve the warrant around 4 p.m. Wednesday, Boone said.

President Donald Trump tweeted his "thoughts and prayers," saying "We are forever grateful for what our Law Enforcement Officers do 24/7/365."

This is the second shooting of multiple police officers in South Carolina this year. In January, a 47-year-old former banker shot four officers in York County, killing one, after his wife called 911 to report he beat her. Christian McCall pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life without parole.