Florence Active Shooter in South Carolina: 7 Officers Shot

Heavy Breaking news

Seven law enforcement officers were shot and one has died after an active shooter opened fire on them near Florence, South Carolina on October 3, 2018. At about 6 p.m., the Florence County Emergency Management department said the suspect was in custody.

The deceased officer was named as Terrence Carraway. You can read about his life here. The accused shooter is Fred Hopkins, 74, a disbarred lawyer and Vietnam veteran who is married to divorce and family lawyer Cheryl Turner Hopkins. You can read more about his background here.

Initial reports had said that five officers were shot. However, later reports said seven officers (four City of Florence and three Florence County sheriff’s deputies), and a 20-year-old man, were shot.

Authorities said gunfire was being shot “all over.” They said officers saw fellow officers down. The way the suspect was positioned, his view of fire was several hundred yards. “So he had an advantage. The officers couldn’t get to the ones who were down.”

Authorities called it a “horrific day” and said the slain officer was known in the area for 30 years to local law enforcement. The Florence police chief asked for the prayers of “every human being who knows Jesus Christ” to pray for the officers. They were responding to a scene of an incident where other officers were in need. The chief thanked the community for reaching out and their “brothers and sisters in blue from around this country. We will take care of our family. This is my family.” He called the slain officer the “bravest police officer.”

“These officers went there unknowing the firepower this suspect had. … They thought it was a random search warrant,” Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone said.

Officers were trying to serve a search warrant at 4 p.m. when the suspect opened fire, and there were children in the home.

The officer who died is a City of Florence police officer. “Carolinas Hospital System in Florence is on a temporary lock down following the shooting,” WPDE-TV reported. The station added that, according to neighbors, the initial call was for shots fired inside a home.

President Donald Trump weighed in on Twitter, writing, “My thoughts and prayers are with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and the Florence Police Department tonight, in South Carolina. We are forever grateful for what our Law Enforcement Officers do 24/7/365.”

“The active shooting situation is over and the suspect is in custody. We are asking everyone to stay away from Vintage Place as there is still an active crime investigation in progress,” the Emergency Management office wrote on Facebook.

Authorities have not released the other victims’ names.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Seven Law Enforcement Officers Shot Were From Two Different Agencies

The situation was still fluid and unfolding into the early evening hours. A female officer was among those shot. You can watch live stream video from the scene here.

Florence County Emergency Management confirmed the incident on Twitter, writing, “Due to a high priority call in Vintage Place off of Hoffmeyer Rd in FLORENCE. There is an active shooter incident in progress at this time. We are advising everyone to stay away from this area. We have FCSO along with City PD and other first responders handling this situation.” Photos and videos captured a massive law enforcement response to the scene.

The message was stamped “high priority” on Twitter. Gov. Henry McMaster wrote on Twitter, “This is simply devastating news from Florence. The selfless acts of bravery from the men and women in law enforcement is real, just like the power of prayer is real.”

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The Florence County, South Carolina Sheriff’s Department is located in Effingham, South Carolina. Florence is a community located about 80 miles from Columbia, South Carolina. A local high school was put in lockdown as a precautionary measure.

Representative Terry Alexander, who represents parts of Florence, released the following statement to WPDE: “It’s just a very sad situation. We have got to do something about these guns. We should also remember to be calm and let the process take place. Let’s see what our magnificent law enforcement officers come up with to make sure that our people are safe, especially our children. I am in prayer for all six families who are hurting right now, including that of the shooter.”

This post will be updated as more information is learned about the incident and about the conditions of the law enforcement officers who were shot.