The Latest: Chief: Officers’ rescue took about 30 minutes

The sheriff in charge of the investigation into a shooting that killed one police officer and wounded six others in South Carolina says his deputies haven’t finished processing the massive crime scene in an upscale neighborhood.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Thursday that until the work is finished, he can’t know how many weapons were used or shots were fired.

Lott says a suspect is in custody but investigators aren’t to the point where they are ready to file charges.

Florence County deputies have identified the suspect as 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins.


Lott says the sheriff in Florence County asked him to investigate instead of the State Law Enforcement Division because his department based in the capital city of Columbia has plenty of experience in complex homicides.

A South Carolina police chief estimates about 30 minutes elapsed before seven law enforcement officers who had been shot could be rescued.

Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler said Thursday at a news conference that about a half-hour passed between when the officers were shot and when they were recovered with an armored vehicle.

Heidler said he was there and the wait “seemed like it was forever, but it was not.”

Four of Heidler’s officers were shot, one fatally. Three Florence County deputies also were shot while trying to serve a warrant Wednesday.

A South Carolina police chief says two of his officers have been released from the hospital and another remains in serious condition one day after a man opened fire on officers trying to serve a search warrant.


Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler addressed a news conference on Thursday. One of Heidler’s officers died in the shooting. In all, four police officers and three deputies were shot. Heidler didn’t know the condition of the wounded deputies.

He remembered slain Sgt. Terrence Carraway as “my brother.” They had served together three decades.

He said of Carraway was “the epitome of a community police officer.”

Heidler said the sheriff’s office was the lead agency on the call outside the city limits and his officers arrived as backup. The deputies were serving a search warrant on a home on  Wednesday when a man inside opened fire.

the man accused of shooting seven South Carolina law enforcement officers outside his home lost his law license decades ago over $18,000 in wrongfully collected attorney fees.

A court order shows that, in 1984, the state Supreme Court allowed Frederick Hopkins to pay back the debt over time and surrender his license rather than complete a six-month jail term.

The court wrote that Hopkins was ordered to jail after failing to return the money as part of a previous order.

The order notes Hopkins was jailed for more than two weeks before the court allowed his wife, fellow attorney Cheryl Turner Hopkins, to be held jointly liable for paying back the money.

Authorities have identified 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins as the suspect in the shootings of seven law enforcement officers in Florence Wednesday night. Florence Police Officer Terrence Carraway died from his injuries.

The South Carolina sheriff leading the investigation of the shooting of seven law officers says it’s too early to go into details about the case.


Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Thursday that the focus is on taking care of those who have been shot and their families.

One officer died and six others were injured in Wednesday’s shooting near Florence.

Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone asked the Columbia-area sheriff to lead the investigation. Boone has not explained why he did not request that state police handle the case, as most South Carolina law enforcement agencies do in an officer-involved shooting.

Lott’s department also does not usually request the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate such shootings.


Gov. Henry McMaster announced on Twitter Thursday that the lowering shows “respect for the law enforcement officers who were senselessly shot” the previous day in Florence.

He asked South Carolinians to reflect on the officers’ sacrifice.

Authorities say people are planning to gather by candlelight Thursday to honor the victims.

Brown says Carraway “had a heart of gold.” She says the 30-year police department veteran had told her he was ready for retirement but wasn’t done giving back to his community.

The man accused of killing a police officer and wounding six other law enforcement officers in a South Carolina standoff is a military veteran who received disability payments after being wounded in the Vietnam War.

That’s according to a South Carolina Supreme Court ruling in a divorce case involving 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins and his ex-wife Carol Hopkins.

The court noted in the year 2000 that Frederick Hopkins was injured in the Vietnam War and he was receiving a disability payment of $1,127 a month. Hopkins also was a lawyer, admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1980, but was later disbarred.

Authorities said Frederick Hopkins is under arrest in a hospital after falling on his head at some point during the standoff, which began when deputies tried to serve a search warrant at the home.

Public records show he’s the husband of Florence divorce attorney Cheryl Turner-Hopkins. South Carolina Bar records show Frederick Hopkins used to be a lawyer but has been disbarred.

Kirby says officers were trying to serve a warrant involving an accusation that a 27-year-old person at the home sexually assaulted a foster child in the home.

Heidler asked for prayers for the slain officer, calling him the “bravest police officer I have ever known.”

Nunn says the man held children hostage during a two-hour standoff, but they weren’t harmed.

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