- Seven law-enforcement officers were shot and one was killed in Florence, South Carolina, on Wednesday after local sheriff’s deputies arrived at a man’s home to serve a search warrant.
- Authorities said the suspected shooter opened fire from his home, with a vantage point of several hundred yards that prevented back-up officers from rescuing their injured colleagues.
- Authorities identified the suspect on Thursday as 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins, who is in police custody and is being treated at a hospital.
The South Carolina man who police say gunned down seven law-enforcement officers, killing one, had opened fire from his home, spraying bullets from a vantage point of several hundred yards and preventing police from reaching their injured colleagues, authorities said.
The gunfire began shortly after local sheriff’s deputies arrived at the man’s house to serve a search warrant related to a sexual assault allegation, officials told NBC affiliate WIS-TV.
“Officers went there unknowing the firepower the suspect had,” Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone told reporters at a press conference. “Fire was being shot all over. … So he had an advantage. The officers couldn’t get to the ones who were down.”
Boone said it was an armoured military-style vehicle that eventually allowed officers to enter the fray and pull the wounded to safety.
‘The bravest police officer that I have ever known’
Police identified the slain officer as 52-year-old Terrence Carraway, who had recently been decorated for serving 30 years with the apartment.
Carraway was “the bravest police officer that I have ever known,” Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler told reporters.
The conditions of the other six injured officers are unclear.
Florence County Chief Deputy Glenn Kirby identified the suspect on Thursday as 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins, a disbarred lawyer who has faced minor criminal charges several times since 2014, according to The Associated Press.
Hopkins is being treated in a hospital for a head injury, Kirby said. He has faced charges in the past such as disorderly conduct, and “running at large,” an offence relating to allowing pets to run astray, Kirby said.
Hopkins surrendered to authorities following a roughly two-hour standoff, after he barricaded himself in his home with multiple children, police said.
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