Six Wounded, One Killed, in South Carolina Shootout

By Jimmy He

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Seven police officers were shot, one fatally, on October 3rd while serving a warrant in Florence, South Carolina.

Fred and Seth Hopkins, 74 and 28 respectively, barricaded themselves inside of their house with several children and shot at the officers as they exited their car. As dozens of officers rushed to the scene to assist, Hopkins shot four officers.

“These officers were ambushed very quickly,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says, “As soon as they got there, the ambush was in place.”

The officers were attempting to investigate a sexual assault case allegedly involving Seth Hopkins and a foster child that lived with the family. They had acquired a warrant to interview Seth Hopkins and had called ahead to confirm the family was home.

After a hearing on Friday, both men were denied bond. Fred Hopkins was charged with one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder. Seth Hopkins was charged with criminal sexual conduct in the second degree.

Lott stressed that all procedures were followed while conducting the warrant. “I don’t want anybody to think their procedures were incorrect,” Lott said, “They did not. This was an ambush that you just can’t prevent.”

The victim of the shooting, Sgt. Terrance Carraway, was a 30-year law enforcement veteran of the Florence Police Department. Referred to as a “gentle giant” by his colleagues, Carraway was one of the officers who had rushed to the scene to provide backup.

When asking Wayne Hills students whether it is possible to decrease the amount of danger police officers face in their daily line of work, junior Chris Ayala responded that “it is very much possible.”

“We can control gun regulations,” he says, “We can decrease the amount of violence through increased background checks.”

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