Published: Sat, October 06, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

7 officers shot, 1 fatally, serving warrant in S. Carolina

7 officers shot, 1 fatally, serving warrant in S. Carolina

Authorities have identified 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins as the suspect in the shootings of seven law enforcement officers in Florence Wednesday night.

Florence County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Glenn Kirby said Hopkins had the upper hand in the shootout: "The way this suspect was positioned, his view of fire was several hundred yards".

Florence County investigators called Hopkins' home and arranged to speak to his 28-year-old son, Seth Hopkins, about a sex assault investigation Wednesday afternoon, Lott said, adding that they had a search warrant.

The fallen police officer was revealed to be Terrence Carraway, 52, a 30-year veteran of the department.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN. His condition is not now known, she reported. Authorities would say only that the gunman released the children as he was taken into custody, authorities said. "Pray for the bravest police officer I know".

Florence County Sheriff Kenny Boone said officers responded to the call unaware of the firepower waiting inside the house. He was fatally shot as he ran through a barrage of gunfire to get to the wounded officers. None of the children were reported to have been injured in the shooting.

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He said Mr Carraway, his youth football coach in the late 1990s, was a down-to-earth community leader with whom young people felt comfortable discussing their problems.

A Vietnam veteran is in custody Thursday after allegedly gunning down seven police officers in SC during a two-hour shootout. He was charged in 2015 and 2017 for "running at large" (crimes related to animal abuse), reports WFYMY News.

Kirby identified the suspect as 74-year-old Fred Hopkins who lived at the home on Ashton Drive where the incident occurred.

As the suspect barricaded himself in the home with children, authorities used a mine-resistant ambush protected, or MRAP, vehicle - something usually associated with war zones - to get all the wounded officers to safety, Boone said.

South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster, solicited prayers for those officers who remain injured in hospital - their condition is now unknown.

Lott says the sheriff in Florence County asked him to investigate instead of the State Law Enforcement Division because his department based in the capital city of Columbia has plenty of experience in complex homicides.

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Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler estimated Thursday that it took a half-hour to reach some of the wounded officers.

"He had a passion for kids, .to see kids in impoverished areas have the opportunity to do the things they might not have the opportunity" to do, Heidler said.

"I just love the smell of gunpowder in the mornin's", he once posted on Facebook.

At a vigil Thursday evening at the First Baptist Church of Florence, Carraway's pastor said he wore two badges.

A public viewing will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday at the Florence Center, and a memorial will follow at noon, he said.

US President Donald Trump has tweeted about the shooting, quoting South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. Hopkins is also charged with six counts of attempted murder in the wounding of six other law enforcement officers Wednesday.

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