FLORENCE, SC (FOX 46 WJZY) — Gun shots rocked an upscale Florence, SC community Wednesday evening when a man opened fire on law enforcement officers.
The suspected gunman, 74-year-old Fredrick Hopkins, is in custody in an area hospital Thursday night. Police say Hopkins shot and killed one Florence City Police officer and injured six others.
“It’s very sad because they didn’t wake up to do this, they woke up thinking they would come back home, especially in a neighborhood like this, you don’t expect it,” said Byron Black.
Black went to high school and middle school with the suspect’s son and Terrence Carraway the fallen Florence police officer was Byron’s youth football coach.
The officers were at the home on Ashton Dr. to serve a search warrant on a 27-year-old for an alleged sexual assault.
According to Florence City Police Chief Allen Heidler, there was no way to know the type of fire power the officers would be under.
“I know he was in Vietnam and had a lot of military weapons,” Black told FOX 46.
Hopkins is a military veteran who was wounded in the Vietnam War, according to the South Carolina Supreme Court.
Chief Heidler confirmed that his officers exchanged fire with Hopkins, who is reportedly unable to speak to officers after he fell and hit his head during fray.
“Our officers were involved in gunfire with that suspect, whether it was the ones that were struck we haven’t gotten that far yet,” he said.
Sergeant Terrence Carraway with the Florence City Police Department was the officer killed in the exchange. He leaves behind his wife and children.
“It’s sad he was a good person. You know they have that perception that all officers are bad but he was a good person,” said Black.
Officer Carraway was a 30-year law enforcement veteran and is remembered by Chief Allen Heidler as “the bravest police officer” he’s ever known.
If you’d like to help the family of Terrence Callaway, click here.