Sheriff: Man in SC ambushed officers questioning son

Marsha Scott
October 6, 2018

Authorities direct traffic on Hoffmeyer Road near the Vintage Place neighborhood where several law enforcement officers were shot, one fatally, on October 3, 2018, in Florence, S.C.

The suspect has been identified as 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins, report the Associated Press and the Greenville News.

The man suspected in the shooting of seven law enforcement officers is a 74-year-old disbarred lawyer, according to the Associated Press. One of the officers, Terrence Carraway, a 30-year veteran of the force, died from his injuries. Florence Police Officers Brian Hart, Travis Scott and Scott Williamson were wounded along with Carraway as they rushed to help.

He said he knew both the officer killed and the children of the suspect, describing the Hopkins family as "good people".

"They will be scarred for a long period of time", Heidler said of the officers who are now back home.

Meanwhile, authorities said Friday that Wednesday's shootings would be investigated by the same special Federal Bureau of Investigation team that worked on the slayings of five police officers in Dallas in 2016 and last October's mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Terrence Carraway had just said goodbye to Chief of Police Allen Heidler and was heading home for the day when he received a call for urgent backup.

The conditions of the three other Florence officers and three deputies who were wounded were not immediately known. "The officers couldn't get to the ones who were down". That process took about 30 minutes.

Officers then called for backup.

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He was hospitalized with a head injury Thursday after falling at the scene, and was unable to speak with officers.

Records and social media posts unearthed Thursday showed that Frederick Hopkins became serious about amateur target-shooting around the time he lost his law license in the 1980s for mishandling money. According to public court records, Hopkins' charges include two in 2015 and 2017 for "running at large", an offense related to not restraining one's animals. About two hours after the incident began, the suspect surrendered to deputies after talking to a negotiator. A 2014 post on his Facebook page said he celebrated his 70th birthday at a shooting range by repeatedly firing his M-14 rifle, set up exactly like the one he used in Vietnam.

The Officer Down Memorial Page lists the names of 23,409 USA police officers killed in the line of duty - 113 so far this year. There were children inside the home, but officers said all of them were okay.

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

Authorities said the shootings happened in Vintage Place, an upscale neighborhood west of the city.

President Trump added his "thoughts and prayers" for the Florence County Sheriff's Office and police department.

The President wrote on Twitter, "My thoughts and prayers are with the Florence County Sheriff's Office and the Florence Police Department tonight, in SC".

'This is simply devastating news from Florence, ' said Governor Henry McMaster, who also ordered flags around the state to half-mast. There was a hearing on Friday in family court, but Clements did not provide any additional information.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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