Investigators have now filed charges against a 74-year-old man accused of shooting seven law enforcement officers this week, killing one.
Frederick Hopkins was charged Friday with murdering Florence Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway and six additional counts of attempted murder. He has been in the hospital since Wednesday’s incident but is expected to be released Friday afternoon, according to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, whose office has been investigating the incident.
Hopkins’ son Seth Hopkins is also charged with criminal sexual conduct towards a minor. Lott confirmed Florence County deputies were arriving at the home to question Seth when the older Hopkins ambushed them.
“The three investigators from Florence County had made arrangements to interview Seth Hopkins at the residence,” Lott said during a Friday news conference. He added the investigators did not have an arrest warrant at that point and were only there to question Hopkins.
Hopkins was also expected to be released from a hospital on Friday. Earlier reports indicated he was shot during Wednesday’s incident.
Lott said Carraway and three other Florence city police officers were shot after responding to the ambush.
Two of the officers were released from the hospital on Thursday. However, the three deputies and one other officer remain in critical condition, according to a Richland County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.
Florence Mayor Stephen 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.
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 is not immediately clear why Richland County deputies were chosen.