Suspect In Deadly South Carolina Police Ambush Identified As Elderly Vet


Thursday, October 4th 2018, 12:28 pm
By: News On 6


A police officer was killed and six of his comrades were wounded when an elderly man began shooting at deputies who came to serve a search warrant Wednesday at his South Carolina home. The man barricaded himself in his home with children and sprayed bullets across his upscale suburban neighborhood, authorities said.  

The shooter has been identified as Fred Hopkins, according to a senior law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation, CBS News' David Begnaud reports.

CBS News

Hopkins, 74, is a disabled Vietnam veteran and disbarred lawyer who has faced several charges in recent years, starting with a 2014 count of disorderly conduct, The Associated Press reports. 

The search warrant that was being served at the home where the violence unfolded Wednesday was part of a child sexual assault investigation, and the subject of that investigation is 27-year-old Seth Hopkins, who lives there, according to the law enforcement official.

Police have been called to the home dozens of times over the years, the official said.

Wednesday's violence stunned people already dealing with record flooding from Hurricane Florence. 

The officer who was slain, 52-year-old Terrence Carraway of Darlington, had just been honored for his 30 years of service with the Florence Police Department. 

"I want you to pray for the family who lost the bravest police officer I have ever known," said his chief, Allen Heidler. 

A sheriff's armored personnel carrier was brought in to recover the wounded during what turned into a two-hour standoff. The shooter finally released the children as he was taken into custody, authorities said.

"Officers went there unknowing the firepower the suspect had," Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone said at a news conference.

"Fire was being shot all over. The way this suspect was positioned, his view of fire was several hundred yards. So he had an advantage. The officers couldn't get to the ones who were down."

Boone credited his department's military equipment for enabling them to pull the wounded from the field of fire.

"Thanks to our MRAP, armored personnel carrier, we made sure all the officers that were shot were protected and brought for medical attention," he said.

Condolences and outpourings of support rolled in. President Donald Trump tweeted his "thoughts and prayers," saying "We are forever grateful for what our Law Enforcement Officers do 24/7/365."

"This is simply devastating news from Florence," Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted. "The selfless acts of bravery from the men and women in law enforcement is real, just like the power of prayer is real."

Authorities said the shooting happened in Vintage Place, an upscale neighborhood in the western part of the city. Bobby Goin stood outside waiting for police to let him back to his home, where his wife and granddaughter could hear the gunshots.

"Surprised is probably an understatement," said Goin, who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years. "The worst thing that goes on around here is that someone runs a stop sign and it gets posted on Facebook."

This is the second shooting of multiple police officers in South Carolina this year. In January, a 47-year-old former banker shot four officers in York County, killing one, after his wife called 911 to report he beat her. Christian McCall pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life without parole.

Florence, a city in South Carolina's northeastern corner home to roughly 37,000, sits at the convergence of Interstates 95 and 20. It's the largest city in the region known as the Pee Dee, where flooding from Hurricane Florence devastated areas to the east and south.