Two Florence police officers shot and injured by a gunman barricaded inside a home Wednesday evening have been released from the hospital.
Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela updated their status during a Thursday news conference. He also said funeral services for fallen Sgt. Terrence Carraway are scheduled Monday.
Investigators say the Florence man accused of killing a police officer and shooting six others has not yet been charged. Florence County deputies said 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins is in the hospital. They said Hopkins opened fire as deputies came to the home to serve a warrant on someone else for criminal sexual conduct charges.
“We haven’t got that far in the investigation to formally charge someone,” said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, whose office is handling the investigation. “But he is in custody. That’s a process we have to go through and we’re in that process now.”
Carraway was among four officers who responded after three deputies serving the warrant were shot. Three other officers — including the two released Thursday — were also hit.
Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler gave a few more details on what happened Wednesday. Heidler said he was on-site during the standoff and noted it took about 30 minutes for an armored personnel to recover the fallen officers. “It’s my understanding that (the officers) did not know the level of firepower that they were going into,” he said.
He praised Carraway as “a giant of a man, but a gentle giant.”
“He had a passion for kids,” Heidler said of the 30-year-veteran. “And I think that’s what stuck out for me.. was his passion to see kids in impoverished areas have an opportunity to do things that maybe they might not ever have an opportunity to do.”
Wukela said Carraway’s funeral is planned for Monday, with a viewing is planned from 9-11 a.m. at the Florence Center. A memorial service will follow at the same location.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is handling the investigation. Normally investigations of officer-involved shootings are done by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). However, it is up to the police department or sheriff’s office involved to formally request help. It was not immediately clear why Richland County deputies were chosen.