Officer killed in shooting spent 30 years with department

Sumter Item file

Sumter Item file

The decorated 74-year-old Vietnam War veteran accused of shooting seven SC law enforcement officers had set an ambush for investigators coming to question his adult son about a child sexual assault, the sheriff investigating the case said Friday.

Hopkins in 2014 was charged with a count of disorderly conduct, according to the AP.

Scores of gunshots can be heard in footage recorded by a witness near the shooting. Florence Police Officers Brian Hart, Travis Scott and Scott Williamson were wounded along with Carraway as they rushed to help.

Sheriff Leon Lott said three Florence County deputies arranged the interview around 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 and 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins shot them as they got out of their police vehicle. The names of the six officers receiving medical treatment had not been released.

The severity of the other officers' injuries was unknown.

Three Florence officers and three deputies were wounded in the standoff, Heidler said.

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Officers say they used extreme caution because they believed several children were in the home.

It was not clear exactly how the confrontation ended.

The man also held children hostage for two hours in his Florence home Wednesday afternoon, but they were released safely as the suspect was taken into custody, Florence County Sheriff's Maj.

Kirby also said that the search warrant involved an accusation that a 27-year-old person at the home sexually assaulted a foster child who lives there.

Authorities said 74-year old Fredrick Hopkins was the gunman.

"I just love the smell of gunpowder in the mornin's", he once posted on Facebook. The Associated Press describes the man as a disabled Vietnam War veteran and disbarred lawyer who lost his license in 1984 for wrongly collecting more than $18,000 in attorneys fees.

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As of this writing, only Williamson remains hospitalized. The filing does not elaborate on the injury.

The shooting took place off Hoffmeyer Road in the Vintage Place subdivision, an upscale neighborhood in the county.

SLED agents arrived at the crime scene nearly immediately after the first shots rang out, but were told to leave by Florence County sheriff Kenney Boone - who holds a grudge against the agency owing to a personal matter. He noted that the suspect's "view of fire" gave him a crucial "advantage" over the officers, and mean that responding units "couldn't get to the ones who were down". Mike Nunn, a spokesman for the sheriff's office. "Officers couldn't get to the ones who were down".

That officer was identified as Florence Police Department veteran Terrence Carraway, 52, of Darlington.

Wednesday night dozens of police officers surrounded the neighborhood, as officers from Richland County, brought in to lead the investigation, tried to piece together what happened.

Authorities have not yet identified the wounded officers or described their conditions.

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The violence stunned people in the area, where many have been dealing with record flooding from Hurricane Florence.

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