Everything we know about the gunman who opened fire on South Carolina police officers

October 4, 2018, 6:51pm

Details are beginning to emerge about the disabled Vietnam veteran who allegedly opened fire on sheriff’s deputies trying to serve a warrant at an upscale South Carolina home Wednesday. Fred Hopkins, 74, allegedly shot three investigators, and then shot at the first responders called to aid the wounded at the scene in a quiet Florence subdivision. After an hours-long standoff with police, Hopkins allegedly killed one man — the longtime, 52-year-old police officer Terrence Carraway — and wounded several other officers. An armored vehicle on the scene rushed wounded police to the hospital as other officers waited outside the home, attempting to finally serve a warrant involving an accusation that a 27-year-old in the home sexually assaulted a foster child. But Hopkins held several children hostage, County Sheriff Maj. Mike Nunn said during a news conference Thursday.

Hopkins is now in police custody, Nunn said, and the children have been released. Three officers and three police deputies were injured in the shooting, according to the Charleston Post and Courier. Two officers have been released from the hospital after being treated for their wounds, and another is still receiving treatment, Florence city officials said in a news conference Wednesday.

Officials have not said what kind of guns Hopkins used.

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Here’s everything we know about the suspect:

Gun enthusiast posts

On his personal Facebook page, Hopkins described having 10 children and lists his wife, a local divorce lawyer, as his “true soulmate.” He also posted: “I survived the ravages of Viet Nam.” One of his sons is listed as a police officer. Divorce records from his first marriage show Hopkins served in the Vietnam War, according to The State. The Charleston Post and Courier reported that Hopkins had three Facebook pages and often posted about guns. VICE News was unable to find these posts, and the Post and Courier reported that they’ve been deleted. He once posted about taking his 12-year-old son to a shooting range, according to the Charleston Post and Courier, to celebrate his 70th birthday. He said the guys at the range sang “Happy Birthday,” according to the Post and Courier. “I … had a blast!” he said in the now-deleted post. “I have been shooting competitively since 1984 and lovin’ it. I just love the smell of gunpowder in the mornin’.”

Disbarred lawyer

Hopkins was at one point a lawyer in South Carolina, the Associated Press reported, but he appears to have been disbarred in 1984, according to public records, after wrongfully collecting court fees. According to the Associated Press, his sole source of income was government disability checks.

He’s been charged with several crimes, including a 2014 charge of disorderly conduct, and two charges for “running at large” — an offense related to not restraining animals properly, according to court records.. He was also charged in 2015 for not paying a court-ordered fine, according to The State. Meredith Todd Taylor, who knew the Hopkins family, told The State in an interview that she “would describe them as a ‘family out of control.’” “Everyone knew there were many guns in the neighborhood,” she said.