Florence, SC – One officer is dead and six others remain hospitalized after a gunman opened fire on deputies who were attempting to execute a search warrant on Wednesday afternoon.
Florence Police Officer Terrence Carraway, a 30-year veteran of the department, was fatally shot during the attack, The Washington Post reported.
Two of the injured deputies from the Florence County Sheriff’s Office were listed in critical condition, NBC News reported.
The third deputy, who was hit in the leg, was in stable condition.
One Florence PD officer suffered a graze wound to the head, and is now paralyzed on one side of his body.
Another officer was listed in stable condition.
The third deputy was shot in the thumb, and has since been released from the hospital.
Three of the surviving law enforcement officers are women, and three are men.
A 27-year-old man who was inside a residence with the gunman was also shot, and his condition has not been released, WMBF reported.
The incident began at approximately 4 p.m. on Oct. 4, when Florence County sheriff’s deputies attempted to execute a search warrant in the city’s upscale Vintage Place neighborhood, according to FOX News.
The search involved allegations that a foster child in the residence had been sexually assaulted, and named the 27-year-old man as the suspect, Florence County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Glenn Kirby told WMBF.
The gunman, later identified as 74-year-old Fred Hopkins, opened fire on the deputies from inside the residence, striking three of them.
Hopkins is the father of the 27-year-old sexual assault suspect, NBC News reported.
As Florence Police Department officers rushed to help the deputies, the shooter opened fire on them, as well, hitting three more, according to The Washington Post.
The gunman barricaded himself inside the residence, where he held an unspecified number of foster children hostage during the two-hour standoff that ensued.
“These officers went there unknowing the firepower this suspect had,” Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone said during a press conference, holding back tears. “He had an advantage. The officers couldn’t get to the ones that were down.”
Due to the barrage of gunfire, the injured officers were unable to get to safety, and their fellow officers were unable to reach them, CNN reported.
Police utilized a mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle in order rescue the wounded officers.
After speaking with a hostage negotiator, the shooter eventually surrendered and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, CNN reported.
Four foster children inside the home at the time of the incident were not physically injured, and were found hiding beneath a golf cart in the garage, Deputy Kirby said, according to NBC News.
The motive for the shooting has not been released.
Hopkins is a military veteran who was placed on disability after he was wounded in the Vietnam War, The Washington Post reported.
He was also an attorney, but was later disbarred.
In 2014, Hopkins was arrested for disorderly conduct, and has been charged with several other offenses in recent years, according to the news outlet.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and the Florence Police Department tonight,” President Donald Trump said in a tweet. “We are forever grateful for what our Law Enforcement Officers do 24/7/365.”
“This is simply devastating news from Florence,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster wrote. “The selfless acts of bravery from the men and women in law enforcement is real, just like the power of prayer is real.”
“Peggy and I ask that you pray for them, pray for their recovery, pray for their families, and pray for all of Florence,” the governor said.
On Wednesday night, Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler said that Officer Carraway, 52, was “the bravest police officer” he’d ever known, CNN reported.
An autopsy will take place in Charleston.