South Carolina Police Officer Ambushed By Gunman Dies 3 Week’s After Attack
A second South Carolina police officer has died after being ambushed and shot earlier this month by a man with a stockpile of guns who opened fire on her and other officers as they tried to serve a warrant.
The officer, Farrah Turner of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, spent nearly three weeks hospitalized in critical condition after the gunman, who was perched on the second floor of his home, opened fire with two rifles and a handgun on Oct. 3. The suspect, Frederick T. Hopkins, 74, started shooting as the officers approached the home for a prearranged interview with his 27-year-old son, who had been accused of sexually assaulting a child.
Three officers in the Florence Police Department were struck first, including Sgt. Terrence Carraway, who was killed. Four officers who arrived to assist them, including Officer Turner, were then hit, the authorities said.
Officer Turner, 36, was taken to a hospital in critical condition and underwent at least eight operations in the weeks before she died on Monday, according to a GoFundMe campaign created on her behalf.
Farrah was the ultimate professional, excelling at everything she did,” Kenney Boone, the Florence County sheriff, said in a statement. “She dedicated her life to serving the victims of the worst crimes imaginable.”
Sergeant Carraway, 52, was the first officer in 29 years to die in the line of duty in Florence, which is about 65 miles east of Columbia.
The violence erupted in the afternoon of Oct. 3 when three officers approached Mr. Hopkins’s home in an upscale residential subdivision. The Florence Police Department had secured a search warrant in a sexual assault case involving his son Seth Hopkins, who also lived there. But before officers reached the front door, the father started shooting from above, the authorities said.
After Mr. Hopkins shot the two groups of officers, he barricaded himself inside the house for hours, sporadically exchanging gunfire with the police, the authorities said. By the time he was finally arrested, Mr. Hopkins had fired at least 39 rounds, while officers had fired more than 300, the police said.
Sheriff Leon Lott of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, which is west of Florence and is the lead agency in the shooting investigation, said that the crime scene was “one of the worst I’ve ever seen” and that it was fortunate more officers had not been killed.
“It’s something I never want to see again,” Sheriff Lott said at a news conference last week.
In addition to the three firearms believed to have been used in the attack, the police recovered another 126 guns in the house, Sheriff Lott said.
Mr. Hopkins was charged after the shooting with one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder. After Officer Turner’s death on Monday, an attempted murder charge was upgraded to murder, the authorities said.
Mr. Hopkins, a former lawyer, was disbarred in South Carolina in 1984 for wrongfully collecting $18,000 in attorney fees, according to state records.
Both he and his son, who has been charged with criminal sexual misconduct involving a child, were briefly hospitalized after the shooting. They were being held on Wednesday in a Florence County jail.
A judge denied Frederick Hopkins’s request for a public defender to represent him. State court records do not indicate whether Mr. Hopkins has entered a plea in the case.
A separate request by Seth Hopkins to be represented by a court-appointed lawyer was also denied. It was not clear whether he had entered a plea.