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Friday
Oct052018

Suspect in shooting of 7 South Carolina officers charged with murder

iStocl/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The man suspected of shooting seven South Carolina police officers has been charged with murder, authorities announced Friday.

Fred Hopkins, 74, allegedly ambushed deputies who were serving a search warrant at a home in Florence, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said in a press conference.

"As soon as they got there, the ambush was in place," Lott said.

Fred Hopkins has been charged in the murder of Florence Police Department veteran Terrence Carraway, 52, who was pronounced dead at the hospital Wednesday. He was also charged with six counts of attempted murder, one for each of the officers who were shot.

The police officers responded to the Florence home to execute a search warrant for Seth Hopkins, 27, who was accused of sexual assault. Seth Hopkins lives in the Florence home, though it was not immediately clear whether he was related to Fred Hopkins.

The allegations against Seth Hopkins involved a minor in the home, and the Florence County Sheriff's office had been called to the home several times before, a source with the Florence County Sheriff's Office told ABC News. There were four foster children inside the home at the time of the incident, the source said.

Seth Hopkins has been charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct, Lott said.

On the day of the shooting, Fred Hopkins allegedly used a high-powered rifle from the second floor of the home when officers approached, the source said.

Three deputies from the Florence County Sheriff's Office and four officers from the Florence Police Department were wounded, authorities said. Officers from the Florence Police Department responded to the scene to assist the sheriff's office as the situation escalated.

Lott emphasized that the officers followed procedures in responding to the scene.

"These officers did absolutely nothing wrong," he said. "I don't want anybody to think their procedures were incorrect."

Fred Hopkins eventually gave up and came out of the house with his hands up, according to the source.

The FBI is assisting in the investigation, Lott said. He described the case as a "very large, complex puzzle" that investigators are filling in "piece by piece."

It will take seven to 10 days to process the crime scene, Lott said.

A timeline of events will be released in the near future, Lott said.

Fred Hopkins is a former attorney who was disbarred in 1982 by the South Carolina Supreme Court, records show. His wife, Cheryl Turner Hopkins, is also an attorney.

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