Sheriff: 74-year-old suspect ambushed officers questioning son
FLORENCE, SC (FOX 46 WJZY/AP) - The sheriff investigating the shooting of seven police officers in South Carolina says the man charged with murder ambushed them as they came to question his 27-year-old son about a sexual assault on a child.
Sheriff Leon Lott said three Florence County deputies arranged the interview around 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 and 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins shot them as they got out of their police car.
Authorities say four more officers from the city of Florence were shot trying to rescue the others. Fifty-two-year-old Florence Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway died.
Lott said Hopkins has been charged with murder and six counts of attempted murder. The sheriff said he should be released from the hospital Friday after suffering a head injury. He will be transported to a jail in Richmond County, South Carolina and then transported back to Florence.
LINK: Hundreds gather at vigil to honor Sgt. Terrance Carraway
According to Sherif Lott, law enforcement had made arrangements to interview Hopkins' son, Seth Hopkins, 27, at the home in connection to a sex assault investigation. They reportedly gave a 'courtesy call,' and had planned to execute a search warrant at the home located on Ashton Drive.
When law enforcement arrived on scene, they were ambushed, Lott said. Officers on scene and responding officers were shot during the ordeal.
Sheriff Lott said Seth Hopkins, who has also been in the hospital following the shooting, has now been charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct. He is also expected to be released from the hospital and taken into custody Friday.
Lott said they expect it will take seven to ten more days for the crime scene to be processed. The FBI Evidence Response Team is assisting local authorities with processing the scene.
"This response team with the FBI is a highly trained specialized unit that responds worldwide to major incidents," Sheriff Lott explained.
This FBI team responded to the mass shootings in Las Vegas and the shooting incident in Dallas. The team reportedly brings techniques and equipment that no one locally uses.
Sheriff Lott said three of the six law enforcement officers injured in the shooting remain in critical condition.
LINK: How to help family of fallen South Carolina officer Terrence Carraway
The Associated Press contributed to this report.