Accused shooter charged in connection to deadly Florence officer-involved shooting
FLORENCE, S.C. (WPDE) - On Friday, Oct. 5, Frederick Hopkins, 74, was charged with one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder, according to the Richland County Sheriff's Office.
Police believe Hopkins was the shooter inside a house during a two-hour standoff in the Vintage Place subdivision off Hoffmeyer Road in Florence on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
According to the Associated Press, the sheriff's office says Hopkins fired on deputies investigating alleged sexual assault of a child by another person. The AP says officers were trying to serve a warrant involving an accusation that a 27-year-old person at the home sexually assaulted a foster child in the home.
The AP also reports Hopkins is a disbarred lawyer, charged with disorderly conduct in 2014.
An AP report also said Hopkins is a military veteran and was receiving disability payments after he was injured in the Vietnam War. The AP also reports Hopkins bragged about being a competitive marksman who bragged about his shooting skills on his Facebook page.
The Florence city police officer who died has been identified as Officer Terrence Carraway, 52, of Darlington, according to Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken. Carraway was pronounced dead at a local hospital. An autopsy will be conducted tomorrow at MUSC in Charleston.
City of Florence spokesman John Wukela said Carraway had just received his 30-year service pin from the department.
Three Florence County Sheriff deputies were shot and three additional Florence City police officers were shot, according to the Florence County Sheriff's Office.
The conditions of the six officers in the hospital were not released other than that they were receiving treatment.
A 27-year-old civilian inside the home was also shot, according to Glenn Kirby with FCSO.
Major Michael Nunn, with the Florence County Sheriff Office, said around 4 p.m. Wednesday, investigators with the sheriff's office were attempting to serve a search warrant when the suspect opened fire.
Nunn said that the suspect continued to fire at the deputies and three were shot. Other officers, who tried to render aid, were also shot at by the suspect.
Nunn said the suspect barricaded himself in the home. He added that there were children in the home, but they have been taken to safety.
The standoff lasted for two hours, he said.
Some officers shot were taken to the McLeod Regional Medical Center for treatment. John Russell with the Carolinas Hospital System says they are also treating people, but could not say more.
Sheriff Kenney Boone said this situation hits too close to home.
"Please put the families of these officers in your prayers," he said.
Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler said today marks a very horrific day of the Florence Police Department.
The Carolinas Hospital System has announced that they are on a temporary lockdown as of about 7:30 p.m.
The suspect is in custody at McLeod Regional Medical Center. A source close to the investigation tells Tonya Brown, Hopkins fell at the scene.
According to the Florence County Emergency Management Department, the active shooting situation is now over and the suspect is in custody. It is asking everyone to stay away from Vintage Place, as there is still an active crime investigation in progress.
Neighbors say officers were initially on scene responding to a shots fired call at the home.
Red Cross Disaster Relief and The Salvation Army just arrived on scene to assist.
West Florence High School posted on Facebook that it had gone into lockdown when it learned of the active shooter situation. Athletic teams were brought inside.
Many national and local leaders, as well as fellow law enforcement officials, showed their support through statements and social media.
President Donald Trump tweeted his support, saying "We are forever grateful for what our Law Enforcement Officers do 24/7/365."
Representative Terry Alexander, who represents parts of Florence, released the following statement:
It’s just a very sad situation. We have got to do something about these guns. We should also remember to be calm and let the process take place. Let’s see what our magnificent law enforcement officers come up with to make sure that our people are safe, especially our children. I am in prayer for all six families who are hurting right now, including that of the shooter.
Governor Henry McMaster tweeted, "This is simply devastating news from Florence...pray for them, pray for their recovery, pray for their families, and pray for all of Florence."
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) tweeted his condolences, saying, "God Bless those who choose to protect us and their families."
Our team is working for you to provide updated information.