Father charged with murdering South Carolina police officer as son charged with child sex crime

Father charged with murdering South Carolina police officer as son charged with child sex crime

News Staff

The man accused of murdering a South Carolina police officer and his son were both charged on Friday in connection to the deadly confrontation, officials said.

Fred Hopkins, 74, who has been in custody since Wednesday evening, was charged on Friday with one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder for shooting dead Sgt. Terrence Carraway, 52, and wounding six other police officers, authorities said.

Seth Hopkins, the 27-year-old adopted son of shooting suspect Fred Hopkins, was charged with child sexual assault, said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, whose agency is leading the investigation of Wednesday’s shooting at the Hopkins family home.

Florence County Sheriff’s investigators had arranged to meet with Seth Hopkins that day for an interview when they were “ambushed,” Lott said.

“These officers were ambushed very quickly. As soon as they got there, the ambush was in place,” Lott said. “These officers did absolutely nothing wrong. I don’t want anybody to think their procedures were incorrect.”

When officers arrived at the Hopkins home late Wednesday afternoon, that’s when the elder Hopkins allegedly opened fire on seven Florence County Sheriff’s deputies and city cops, authorities said.

The younger Hopkins was wounded in the shooting and remained hospitalized on Friday.

In a press conference on Friday afternoon, Lott and Florence Solicitor Ed Clements III did not detail the sex allegations against the younger Hopkins. But earlier in the week, police said Seth Hopkins was being investigated in a case that involved a foster child living at the house.

Clements said it’s too early to say whether his prosecutors would see the death penalty against Fred Hopkins.