One South Carolina law enforcement officer was killed and six others injured after being shot near the town of Florence late Wednesday afternoon.
A 74-year-old suspect who had posted on social media about his shooting prowess, Frederick T. Hopkins Jr., was in custody but had not yet been charged, and his status as a suspect was particularly striking given that two of his sons have worked in law enforcement.
The alleged shooter, Fred Hopkins, 74, faces one count of murder in the death of Florence Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway.
Sheriff Lott said Seth Hopkins, who has also been in the hospital following the shooting, has now been charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct. Meanwhile, as this news outlet exclusively reported yesterday, numerous assets from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have also been deployed - including a team of forensic analysts who helped investigate the 2016 Dallas police shooting and the 2017 mass shooting on the Las Vegas strip. Hopkins also was a lawyer, admitted to the SC bar in 1980, but was later disbarred.
On the Florence County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, a post said there will be a community prayer vigil at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the front steps of the county complex.
Boone said: "Fire was being shot all over".
Cheryl Turner Hopkins told a WPDE-TV reporter outside the courtroom that she is sorry for the officers' families and asked for prayers.
A court order shows that, in 1984, the state Supreme Court allowed Frederick Hopkins to pay back the debt over time and surrender his license rather than complete a six-month jail term. His condition was not known at the time of publishing.
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Three female Florence County deputies and four Florence city police officers were wounded.
Hopkins is listed as one of the owners of the house where the shooting occurred, online property records show.
In a tweet Thursday, South Carolina Gov. Harry McMaster said that flags across the state would be lowered to a half-staff out of respect for all the officers who were shot.
Richland County deputies are investigating the case at the request of the Florence County Sheriff's Office. More information is expected Friday.
Heidler, who said that one of Florence's officers was in "serious but stable" condition Thursday and that two others had been released, recalled that he had sat on the review board that hired Carraway about three decades ago. An armored vehicle was used to remove the officers from the scene.
A two-hour standoff ensued when the suspect opened fire and barricaded himself inside a home with multiple children inside.
But Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone said several of his deputies came under attack as they tried to serve an otherwise routine search warrant in the Vintage Place subdivision on the city's western edge.
Authorities have not described what weapons were involved, but Hopkins apparently owned several guns. "The selfless acts of bravery from the men and women in law enforcement is real, just like the power of prayer is real".