Deputies were serving a warrant for sexual assault of a child when they were ambushed; 1 officer dead, 6 injured
FLORENCE, S.C. — Deputies were executing a search warrant in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a foster child when a gunman opened fire on them Wednesday in Florence, South Carolina, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.
The ensuing two-hour standoff left one officer dead and six others wounded.
It was not immediately clear whom the search warrant was for, and the source did not provide additional details about it.
The shooting suspect surrendered Wednesday evening after talking with a negotiator, Chief Deputy Glenn Kirby of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office told WBTW. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The suspect is 74-year-old Fred Hopkins, another source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.
The suspect had not been formally charged as of Thursday night, according to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, whose office is leading the investigation.
It’s unclear whether authorities have determined why the suspect opened fire on officers.
Hopkins is listed as one of the owners of the house where the shooting occurred, online property records show.
He was disbarred as an attorney in 1984, four years after he got his law license, according to records. He was ordered to pay $18,000 to a court in Lexington County, an amount said to be equal to the sum of “wrongfully collected attorney fees.”
Hopkins was charged in 2014 with disorderly conduct, court records show. It is his only known prior arrest.
Hopkins and his wife have nine adopted children, a woman who said she was a longtime friend of the Hopkins family told The State newspaper.
Officers still recovering
Four law enforcement officials hurt in the shooting remain hospitalized Friday.
Two sheriff’s deputies are in critical condition, Kirby said, and the third is in stable condition.
One police officer also is still in the hospital, said Lt. Mike Brandt of the Florence Police Department. Two other wounded officers were released the night of the shooting.
Florence Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway was killed in the ambush. A 30-year veteran of the Florence Police Department, he was minutes away when he got the call to help his comrades.
Carraway rushed to the scene, where he was struck in the barrage of bullets. Scores of gunshots can be heard in footage recorded by a witness near the shooting.
The officers ultimately had to be rescued, with an armored vehicle used as a shield.
Carraway, whom the mayor described as a “great cop” and a “great person,” died on his way to the hospital, Florence city spokesman John Wukela said.
Slain officer was a ‘gentle giant’
City officials lauded Carraway on Thursday as a man with a steady temperament and a deep commitment to his community.
Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler fought back tears as he recalled Carraway as a good friend and “the bravest police officer” he’s ever known.
Carraway had started a mentoring program for disadvantaged youths called Camp FEVER, Heidler said.
“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. “He was a giant of a man, but he was the proverbial gentle giant, and I loved him.”
An autopsy will be performed at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, WBTW reported.
Carraway’s pastor, Rev. Cecil Bromell of First Baptist Church of Florence, said there would be a public viewing from 9 to 11 a.m. on Monday at the Florence Center, and a memorial service at noon.