Florence law enforcement officers were ambushed, “shot without warning”

FLORENCE, SC (WOLO) – The Sheriff in charge of investigating the shooting of multiple law enforcement officers in Florence described it as an ambush.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott shared new information during a news conference Friday (10/5).

He says the first law enforcement officers were shot as soon as they got out of the car, without warning.

Six law enforcement officers were shot; one was killed Wednesday evening in a subdivision just outside the city of Florence.

The suspect, 74-year-old Fred Hopkins, was formally charged with murder Friday.

Lott says three Florence County investigators had made arrangements to interview Hopkins’ 27-year-old adopted son, Seth Hopkins, for a criminal sexual assault investigation. They also had a search warrant for the home. He says when those first three county investigators arrived, they were ambushed.

Responding officers from the city of Florence were also shot. 30-year veteran of the force, Terrence Carraway died from his injuries.

Lott added that the officers involved did nothing wrong. He says they were set up and ambushed very quickly.

When asked what kind of weapon was used by the suspect, Lott said he’s “definitely not going to discuss that.”

Friday, Lott announced that Seth Hopkins was charged with 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct.

Both Hopkins and his son remained in a medical facility Friday afternoon but were expected to be released and booked in jail Friday night.

Sheriff Lott described the investigation as a large, complex puzzle with a large crime scene.

An FBI Evidence Response Team is processing the crime scene. Lott says it’s the same team which worked the Las Vegas shooting and the shooting of Dallas Police officer.

He expected it would take another seven to 10 days to complete the crime scene investigation.

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