Officers in South Carolina Police Shooting Were 'Ambushed,' Chief Says

09 Oct, 2018 Liz Carey


Florence, SC ( – A disabled war veteran was waiting to attack police officers when they came to interview his son, officials said this weekend.

Frederick Hopkins knew that sheriff’s officers were on the way to his house. The former attorney didn’t wait for deputies to knock on his door before he opened fire on them, said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, the head of a neighboring county’s sheriff’s office investigating the case. For previous coverage on the shooting, click here

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, officers approached the $500,000 home of Hopkins, where his son, Seth Hopkins, 28, was waiting inside. Deputies were on their way to question the younger Hopkins on suspicion of sexual assault against a foster child allegedly living in the house.

Instead of answering questions though, the older Hopkins started shooting at officers. One officer, Sgt. Terrance Carraway of the Florence Police Department, was killed. Six others were wounded. Five civilians, whom police declined to name, were also injured in the shoot-out that lasted nearly two hours. 

“They were ambushed,” Lott said, according to the Charleston Post and Courier. “They were shot.” 

Of the wounded were Cpl. Brian Hart, Lance Cpl. Travis Scott and Sgt. Scott Williamson of the Florence City Police Department. Only Williamson remained hospitalized this weekend, officials said. Deputy Arie Davis and investigators Sarah Miller and Farrah Turner of the Florence Sheriff’s office were also hurt. Two of the sheriff’s deputies were still hospitalized with life-threatening injuries as of this weekend.

Officials said the shooting began at about 4 p.m. at Hopkins’ home on Ashton Drive in Vintage Place, a tiny subdivision outside of Florence. Officers were scheduled to search the home, but not to arrest the younger Hopkins.

When they arrived, officials said, the older Hopkins started shooting.

“These officers were ambushed very quickly,” Lott said. “These officers did absolutely nothing wrong. I don’t want anybody to think that their procedures were incorrect.”

As the shots rang out, officers called for back-up. As Florence City Police officers responded, Hopkins shot them too.

One officer raced down Ashton Drive toward the house, officials with knowledge of the investigation told the Post and Courier. Hopkins shot at the car. The bullet, the official said, pierced the cruiser and grazed the officer, causing the car to crash and breaking both of their legs.

Hopkins was situated in a perch in his home. Having often bragged about his shooting abilities on Facebook, Hopkins shot at anyone who came near the house. 

Authorities said the crime scene stretches over several yards and could another week to process. Investigators from the FBI’s Evidence Response Team are working the scene, officials said.

Fred Hopkins and Seth Hopkins were arraigned on Saturday. Fred Hopkins was charged with murder and six counts of attempted murder. Seth Hopkins was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct. Authorities said more victims could step forward with charges against the younger Hopkins. Both men were denied bond.

A receptionist at the Florence County Sheriff’s Office said no officers were available for comment by press time, as they were attending a funeral service.

  • AI artificial intelligence case law case management claims cms communication compensability compliance conferences courts covid crime do you know the rule dr. claire muselman exclusivity florida FMLA fraud glossary check Healthcare heat how the court ruled iowa judge david langham leadership medical medicare missouri NCCI new jersey new york ohio opioids osha Safety telehealth texas WDYT what do you think workers' comp 101 workers' recovery workers' compensation contact information Workplace Safety Workplace Violence

  • Read Also

    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

    Read More

    Request a Demo

    To request a free demo of one of our products, please fill in this form. Our sales team will get back to you shortly.