A South Carolina man barricaded himself inside a home, held his family hostage and opened fire on law enforcement officers on Wednesday, killing one officer and injuring seven others after officers attempted to serve a warrant at the man’s home.
The Root spoke with the family of 52-year-old Florence, S.C., police officer Terrence Carraway, described by Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler as “the bravest police officer I’ve ever known.” Carraway was killed Wednesday afternoon after a man opened fire on sheriff’s deputies, according to the Florence Morning News. (Full disclosure: I’m a close friend of Terrence Carraway’s family).
“Honestly, we’re still in shock” Carraway’s brother, Daniel Blathers told The Root. “But we thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes, and are just staying hopeful for the other officers and their families.” Terrence was known as “Coach Carraway” to the local community where he spent time coaching youth sports for decades.
On Wednesday, deputies with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office were attempting to serve a warrant at the home of local attorney Cheryl Turner Hopkins and her husband, Fred Hopkins, a disbarred lawyer, when a “suspect inside the residence opened fire on the investigator. Three of our deputies were shot,” said Maj. Mike Nunn of the Sheriff’s Office.
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According to WPDE, officials went to investigate claims that a 27-year-old resident had sexually assaulted a foster child living at the home. Deputies obtained a search warrant and were just arriving at the residence when they encountered a barrage of gunfire from inside.
“Fire was being shot all over,” Sheriff Kenny Boone said at a Wednesday evening news conference. “The way the suspect was positioned, his view of fire was several hundred yards. He had an advantage. Officers couldn’t get to the ones that were down.”
Carraway, a 30-year veteran with the Florence Police Department, responded to the call and attempted to rescue officers on the scene when he was killed by gunfire from inside the home. Three officers from the Florence Police Department were also wounded along with three officers from the Florence County Sheriff’s Office. A 20-year-old was also injured inside the home.
Authorities at the scene closed off the neighborhood and used a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle to reach the injured officers and carry them to safety. Fred Hopkins, 74, eventually surrendered to officials, according to The Root’s sources, which was confirmed by CNN. Politicians and officials from across the country offered their condolences.
Officials have not released the names of the injured officers, and have not announced charges for the suspect.