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Police officers were ambushed at an upscale Florence neighborhood when one officer was killed and others injured, the lead investigator said.
“These officers did absolutely nothing wrong,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Friday. “This was an ambush you can’t prevent.”
The alleged shooter, Fred Hopkins, 74, faces one count of murder in the death of Florence Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway. He also faces six counts of attempted murder for the shooting of other city officers and Florence County Sheriff deputies.
Three deputies and one city officer remain in critical condition. Two officers have been released from the hospital.
His adopted son, Seth Hopkins, 27, also was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Both are being detained at medical facilities, and bond hearings will be at a later date.
Deputies went to the Hopkins’ Ashton Drive home Wednesday evening after they scheduled an interview with Seth Hopkins for the sexual conduct case. Lott said it’s standard police procedure to arraign to meet with a subject for an interview. Police also had a search warrant.
“They got out of the car, and they were shot before they got to the door,” Lott said.
Four responding officers were then shot, Lott said. An armored vehicle was used to remove the officers from the scene.
Lott declined to identify the gun used in the attack or the number of people inside the home during the shooting.
No civilians were injured in the incident. Seth was struck in the shooting, he said.
Two or three children were under Fred Hopkins’ care, Florence Solicitor Ed Clements said. There was a hearing on Friday in family court, but Clements did not provide any additional information.
Clements said it was too early to decide on the death penalty against Fred Hopkins.
Lott said there is extensive investigative work that will take at least a week, and the FBI is at the site to assist.
“We will continue to fill in the blanks of the puzzle until we have this puzzle completely finished,” Lott said.