FLORENCE, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) - Frederick Hopkins, a 74-year-old disbarred lawyer has been formally charged after he was accused of shooting seven law enforcement officers and killing one, who were arriving to interview Hopkins' adult son at their Florence County home.
Late Wednesday evening, a spokesman for the City of Florence identified the fallen police officer as Terrence Carraway, a 30-year veteran of the police force, according to the Associated Press.
The shootings took place in the Vintage Place community, an upscale neighborhood off of Hoffmeyer Road, officials said.
Deputy Chief Glenn Kirby said during a news conference that three Florence County deputies and four city officers were shot.
The sheriff's office said deputies were serving a warrant in the Vintage Place neighborhood when the male suspect opened fire on them, shooting the deputies. Florence police then responded to assist, when the four police officers were then shot.
Deputies said they were investigating an alleged sexual assault of a child by another person who lived at the home.
Florence County Chief Deputy Glenn Kirby said deputies were attempting to interview Hopkins 28-year-old son accused of sexually assaulting a foster child.
We're also told a civilian was shot in the altercation. That person's condition and name have not been released .
Officials announced Thursday morning that the Richland County Sheriff's Office was taking over the investigation.
On Friday, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said 25 agents from the FBI's Evidence Response Team were assisting his deputies as they continued to collect evidence and process the crime scene.
Lott said there would be "a long time to go" before all of the evidence had been collected.
OFFICER KILLED WAS 30-YEAR VETERAN
Florence city officials said Sgt. Terrence Carraway, 52, died after being shot during the incident.
October 28 would have marked Carraway's 31st anniversary as a law enforcement officer, police said.
Carraway was also an Air Force veteran.
Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler called Carraway the "bravest police officer I have ever known,” and a "good friend."
During a news conference Thursday, Heidler said of Carraway, "
He was a giant of a man, but he was the proverbial gentle giant… and I loved him."
A public viewing for Carraway will take place on Monday, October 8th from 9 - 11 a.m. at 300 West Radio Drive with a memorial service following at noon at the Florence Center.
SIX OTHER OFFICERS WERE SHOT
Three other Florence city police officers and three county deputies were also wounded in the shooting Tuesday.
A news release Friday listed the wounded officers as:
- Officer Brian Hart - Florence PD
- Officer Travis Scott - Florence PD
- Officer Scott Williamson - Florence PD
- Deputy Arie Davis - Florence County Sheriff’s Office
- Investigator Sarah Miller - Florence County Sheriff’s Office
- Investigator Farrrah Turner - Florence County Sheriff’s Office
Four of those officers remained in the hospital in critical condition on Friday, a spokesperson for the Richland County Sheriff's Office stated. Two others are out of the hospital.
SUSPECT A 74-YEAR-OLD FORMER LAWYER
On Thursday, Chief Deputy Kirby identified the suspect as 74-year-old Fred Hopkins. He said Hopkins was hospitalized with a head wound after being taken into custody.
The Associated Press reports Hopkins is a disbarred lawyer who has been charged several times in recent years. He is the husband of Florence divorce attorney Cheryl Turner-Hopkins.
The AP reports Hopkins lost his law license in the 1980s over $18,000 in wrongfully collected attorney fees. The Supreme Court allowed Hopkins in 184 to pay back the debt over time and surrender his license rather than complete a six-month jail term that had previously been ordered after he failed to return the money.
The AP said records indicate Hopkins was a serious amateur target shooter who grew interested in the sport around the same time he lost his law license.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who is leading the investigation, said Thursday that the suspect is in custody but has not been formally charged.
On Friday, Lott said Hopkins had been charged with murder in Carraway's deaths and six counts of attempted murder in what he called an "ambush" on officers who were arriving to interview Hopkins' son in related to a criminal sexual complaint.
Lott said the officers were shot "without warning" as soon as they arrived at the home."
Fred Hopkins appeared in bond court on Friday afternoon where he had to be walked in with help from authorities. He was denied bond.
ACCUSED SHOOTER'S SON CHARGED
Lott announced Friday that the man deputies had initially arranged to meet at the home, 28-year-old Seth Hopkins had been arrested.
Lott said deputies had arranged to meet Seth Hopkins for an interview and had a search warrant. He said the deputies were shot before they got a chance to interview Seth.
Seth Hopkins was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor, second degree. Because it is considered a violent crime, the solicitor asked for the bond judge to deny bond.
The Richland County Sheriff's Office said they believe there are more victims and that he is a danger to others, especially young women.
Lott said both father and son would be transported to the Alvin Glenn Detention Facility on Richland County upon their release from the hospital.
Seth Hopkins' bond hearing took place Friday at 5 p.m.
Hopkins requested council on the matter, saying his mother is an attorney. The judge denied him a public defender.
Due to the severity of the violence, and the requests from several officials asking for a bond denial- the judge denied Seth Hopkins bond.
His case will be taken to circuit court at a later date.
WAYS TO HELP
Two official crowdfunding campaigns were launched and have been endorsed by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association.
100 percent of the funds raised from these two campaigns will be donated:
- Officer Carraway Memorial Fund - to benefit Carraway's family
- Wounded Florence Officers Fund - to help the surviving victims
Donations for the families can also be made to the City of Florence Police Benevolent Fund at any Pee Dee First Citizens Bank. The donations can be earmarked for specific families.
Online donations can also be made via the City of Florence website.
OFFICIALS OFFER CONDOLENCES, CALL FOR PRAYERS
Chief Allen Heidler with the Florence Police Department said, "These officers are my family. We will take care of them, and we will take care of their loved ones, but I want you to please pray for these officers and their families. Pray for the family of the bravest police officer that I have ever known."
Sheriff Kenney Boone of Florence County said, "I would ask that you please put these officers and their families in your prayers, please life them up. The victims in the case need all the support we can give them. We're going to make sure they're taken care of."
Governor Henry McMaster tweeted about the shooting, calling for prayers for the officers:
"This is simply devastating news from Florence. The selfless acts of bravery from the men and women in law enforcement is real, just like the power of prayer is real. Peggy and I ask that you pray for them, pray for their recovery, pray for their families, and pray for all of Florence."
This is simply devastating news from Florence. The selfless acts of bravery from the men and women in law enforcement is real, just like the power of prayer is real. (1/2)— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) October 3, 2018
On Thursday, McMaster also ordered flags across the state to be flown at half-staff.
Today, I have ordered that flags across South Carolina will be lowered to half-staff as a mark of respect for the law enforcement officers who were senselessly shot in Florence yesterday. Please, take this opportunity to reflect on what their sacrifice means to you. #SCStrong— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) October 4, 2018
Sen. Tim Scott also tweeted that he was praying for the officers:
"Prayers with injured officers in Florence and their families."
Prayers with injured officers in Florence and their families.— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) October 3, 2018
SC Attorney General Alan Wilson also offering his thoughts and prayers on Twitter:
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office has also confirmed they will be sending deputies to Florence to support FCSO operations.
Later in the evening, President Trump offered his support for FCSO and FPD on Twitter.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and the Florence Police Department tonight, in South Carolina. We are forever grateful for what our Law Enforcement Officers do 24/7/365. https://t.co/ZwDmDthItD— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2018
Senator Lindsey Graham later expressed his own sentiments on the day's shooting.
Heartbroken over the shooting involving the Florence area police officers. God bless those who choose to protect us and their families. We are keeping them in our prayers.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 4, 2018
As the evening went on, several law enforcement agencies and leaders offered their support.
The Anderson County Sheriff's Office posted to Facebook, saying "Our hearts are extremely heavy tonight as we learned of the unbelievable tragedy in Florence earlier this evening. We are prayerfully upholding our fellow law enforcement officers and their families with the Florence Police Department and the Florence County Sheriff's Office. Like other law enforcement agency in the State, we are standing ready to support our brothers and sister in any way they need us."
The Greenville County Sheriff's Office posted "Along with the entire State of South Carolina, please join us in offering your thoughts and prayers for all officers and deputies involved in the tragic incident that occurred in Florence County, SC this afternoon."
Don Reynolds, sheriff of Laurens County, joined the calls for prayers, saying "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of our fallen brother in Florence County and for those injured in the senseless shooting that occurred this evening. Please join me in praying for these and all law enforcement as they put themselves in danger to provide safety and justice for others."
The Greenwood County Sheriff's Office also lent their prayers on Facebook, and the Union County Sheriff's Office page posted a graphic featuring the thin blue line.
Spartanburg PD also spoke out, saying "SPD extends our deepest condolences to our brothers and sisters in blue in Florence SC as they mourn the loss of their officer and pray for the recovery of the others injured."
SPD's post also quoted John 15:13 from the Bible, which says "Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends."
This is a breaking news story. Stay with FOX Carolina for updates.