Last hospitalized officer from Florence police shooting returns home

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The city of Florence is welcoming home police Sgt. Scott Williamson.

“We are so happy to have you back home in Florence,” The city posted on social media.

Williams returned home on Thursday night.

Williamson was one of seven officers who were shot in an October standoff at a home where police attempted to serve a search warrant. Two officers, investigator Farrah “Maxine” Turner of the Florence County Sheriff’s Department and Florence Police Department patrolman Terrence Carraway, died injuries suffered in the shooting.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, whose department is leading the investigation, called the shooting an “ambush.” The man charged with the shooting, Fred Hopkins Jr., is awaiting trial on two murder and five attempted murder charges.

Officers were investigating Hopkins son, Seth, when they attempted to serve the search warrant at the Hopkins home. Seth Hopkins is charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Williamson was shot in the head. He spent the latter part of his recovery in an Atlanta area hospital. He had partial paralysis, which he battled through, gaining the majority of his mobility back, according to Florence Police Chief Allen Hiedler.

“It speaks to the guy, the way he works,” Hiedler said, “his personal drive and determination and how conscientious he is. He’s absolutely determined to recover from this.”

Footage posted by the city shows a convoy of police cruisers escorting Williams on his way from Atlanta back to Florence.

An outpouring of support for Williamson came from law enforcement and the Florence community. The neighborhood was lit up by people who put blue bulbs in their porch lights and affixed other blue decorations to their homes.

“I have prayed for you every single night for 3 months,” MaryKayCQ Salters Simpson posted on social media, along with dozens of others welcoming Williamson home and giving their thoughts to him and his family.

Julie Hedges Williamson, wife of “Scotty” as the officer is known, thanked “everyone so very much for their love and support!”

Williamson will be going through physical therapy and other recovery at home, according to Heidler. Williamson’s already talking about getting back on duty.

“I have every expectation and he has every expectation that he’ll be returning to work,” Heidler said.

A crowd of friends, family, supporters and fellow officers gathered at Williamson’s home when he returned, according to WBTW-TV.

“I know why I worked so hard now for the last three months,” Williamson said, according to WBTW. “I know why I pushed myself everyday, so I could come back home and be with you guys and be with my family.”