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SC officer killed, six wounded in shootout

SC officer killed, six wounded in shootout

Frederick Thomas Hopkins, a 74-year-old Vietnam War veteran and disbarred lawyer who bragged on social media about his marksmanship, has been formally charged with one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder in a deadly suburban shootout that took place in Florence, S.C. late Wednesday.

It was a stunning shooting in an area already reeling from record flooding from Hurricane Florence.

Meanwhile, authorities said Friday that Wednesday's shootings would be investigated by the same special Federal Bureau of Investigation team that worked on the slayings of five police officers in Dallas in 2016 and last October's mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Sgt. Terrence Carraway, a 30-year veteran of the Florence Police Department who rushed to the scene to provide backup, was killed and six other law enforcement officers were injured.

WMBF reports Hopkins sustained a head injury during the police standoff and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The Chicago Tribune reports Hopkins was firing with such intensity, Florence first responders couldn't reach the fallen.

Armed with a search warrant, sheriff's deputies were attempting to enter the home to investigate a 27-year-old who lives there for sexual assault, according to law enforcement sources. Five Florence County deputies were at the scene to serve the warrant.

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Hopkins pinned down officers, and an armored personnel carrier was called in to retrieve the wounded.

Officials refused to say why they were serving a warrant. They did not name the suspect. His condition is also unknown.

Condolences and outpourings of support rolled in.

'This is simply devastating news from Florence, ' said Governor Henry McMaster, who also ordered flags around the state to half-mast. Law enforcement officials are unable to speak with the suspect at this time due to multiple health issues, Kirby says. "So he had an advantage", Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone told reporters.

Wednesday night, the Florence County Sheriff's Office said three of their deputies and four Florence City Police officers were wounded.

Boone said investigators from Richland County would help investigate the shooting.

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Two or three children were under Fred Hopkins' care, Florence Solicitor Ed Clements said.

"Surprised is probably an understatement", Goin said of the shooting in the neighborhood where he has lived for 20 years.

A police officer killed when a gunman opened fire on law enforcement had served in his department for decades.

Florence police Chief Allen Heidler fought back tears Thursday as he recalled Carraway as a good friend and "the bravest police officer" he's ever known. Christian McCall pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life without parole.

President Trump also commented on Twitter, saying, "My thoughts and prayers are with the Florence County Sheriff's Office and the Florence Police Department tonight, in SC".

Florence, a city of about 38,000 people, is in the Pee Dee region of northeastern SC that was drenched by heavy rains and flooding from Hurricane Florence last month.

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Additionally, a 16-year-old juvenile defendant is reportedly in custody under suspicion of attempting to aid and abet the two defendants during the shooting.