Authorities have identified 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins, a disabled Vietnam veteran and disbarred lawyer, as the suspect in the shootings of seven police officers, one who was killed
SC Shooting Suspect ID As 74-Year-Old Disbarred Lawyer Frederick Hopkins
Authorities have identified 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins, a disabled Vietnam veteran and disbarred lawyer, as the suspect in the shootings of seven police officers, one who was killed, Wednesday in Florence, according to the Associated Press.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, whose agency was asked by the Florence County sheriff to investigate the case, said Thursday no one has formally been charged in the case though they do have the suspect in custody.
Lott would not discuss details of the case, including names of the wounded officers and what happened in the incident, and he did not identity the suspect during a press conference Thursday afternoon. He said his department is still processing the crime scene at the Vintage Place subdivision.
Florence Police Department officer Terrence Carraway, 52, who would have celebrated his 31st anniversary with the agency later this month, was killed in the shooting. Six other law enforcement officers were struck and injured, some critically, as a suspect held children hostage, according to investigators.
The six wounded officers include three city police officers, two of whom were released from a local hospital by Thursday, and three county deputies.
WIS-TV reports that Florence County Chief Deputy Glenn Kirby said Hopkins is hospitalized with a head injury and was unable to speak with officers Thursday. WPDE-TV reports Hopkins fell at the scene. Lott said he would not comment on the condition of the suspect.
Kirby said officers were trying to serve a search warrant involving an accusation that a 27-year-old person at the home sexually assaulted a foster child in the home.
The children who were being held hostage were released as Hopkins was taken into custody.
Hopkins has been charged several times in recent years, according to South Carolina court records, beginning with a February 2014 charge of public disorderly conduct. According to Florence County court records, Hopkins has been charged at least two other times for violating an ordinance relating to letting animals run at large.
Records from the South Carolina Judicial Department show that Hopkins is disbarred and "not in good standing." A South Carolina Supreme Court order shows that Hopkins lost his law license in 1984 for wrongfully collecting $18,000 in attorney fees. According to the order, Hopkins was briefly jailed, but was allowed to avoid serving his full six-month jail term in exchange for paying the money back over time and surrendering his license to practice law.
Public records show he is the husband of Florence divorce attorney Cheryl Turner Hopkins.
Gov. Henry McMaster was scheduled to visit wounded officers at McLeod Regional Medical Center Thursday afternoon.
Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler said Thursday he could not name his wounded officers or get into details of the case, saying his agency was coming to the aid of the sheriff's department, whose case led to the shooting.
But he said one of the officers was shot while in a vehicle.
Heidler said "it seemed like forever" before the officers were rescued Wednesday using a armored personnel carrier, that belongs to the county. He believes the time was actually about 30 minutes.
Officials said two police officers have been released from the hospital, though Heidler cautioned they would be "scarred" for a long time.
A Florence County Sheriff's Office deputy gave limited details of the deadly encounter at a hospital Wednesday night while a massive police presence from various agencies remained at the scene.
The suspect remained barricaded in the residence with children and a standoff lasted about two hours, Florence County Sheriff's Office Maj. Mike Nunn said.
President Donald Trump and U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott were among officials to post messages of grief and support Wednesday night.