Man Faces Murder Charge In Shooting Of Seven South Carolina Officers

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A man suspected of shooting seven law enforcement officers and killing one in South Carolina has been charged with murder, authorities said on Friday.

According to Yahoo News, the 74-year-old man – who has been identified as Fred Hopkins – allegedly ambushed officers while they were serving a search warrant at his Florence County house.

The man is also charged with six counts of attempted murder in the shooting, per CNN.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott held a press conference at 2 p.m. on Friday at the Florence Center, during which he discussed the details of the shooting.

Lott said that three deputies from the Florence County Sheriff’s office went to the suspect’s house with a search warrant to interrogate his 28-year-old adopted son, Seth Hopkins, regarding the investigation of a criminal sexual assault, CNN reported.

However, as soon as the deputies got out of the car, the suspect started shooting at them without prior warning. Per a report by the Inquisitr, four city officers who went to assist the deputies were also shot during the incident.

One of the officers, identified as Sgt. Terrence Carraway, was killed. The deceased officer was a 30-year veteran officer of the Florence Police Department. The other six officers were injured during the shooting, the report said.

The son, Seth Hopkins, has also been charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct, but authorities did not elaborate on the case.

According to CNN, Fred Hopkins and his wife have nine adopted children, but whether they were inside the house during the shooting has not been revealed.

On Thursday, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department announced on Twitter that two of the injured city officers had been released from McLeod hospital, while one city officer and the three deputies are still hospitalized. Authorities told CNN that two of the deputies are in critical condition, while the third officer is in stable condition.

Lott explained during the press conference that the case is complicated and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is helping to process the crime scene, which will take up to ten days, per Yahoo News.

“This a very large, complex puzzle that we’re filling the pieces in, piece by piece — what, why and who.”

On Thursday, Florence police chief, Allen Heidler, paid tribute to Officer Carraway, saying that he was the “bravest police officer, who died attempting to rescue colleagues during a hostage standoff with an armed man holding children,” CNN cited.

Honoring Carraway for his duties, the police chief broke down in tears and asked everyone to pray for the speedy recovery of the officers, as well as for the family of the slain officer, per a tweet by Sky News.