Florence County, SC – Two law enforcement officers who were shot while trying to serve a warrant on a sex offender in 2018 are suing the gunman and his family.
A total of seven law enforcement officers were shot while trying to serve an arrest warrant on Seth Hopkins at his father’s home on Oct. 2, 2018.
Two of those officers did not survive.
The search involved allegations that a foster child in the residence had been sexually assaulted, Florence County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Chief Deputy Glenn Kirby told WMBF at the time.
As three FCSO deputies approached the home, the suspect’s father, 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins, opened fire with a high-powered rifle from inside the residence, hitting all three of them, NBC News reported.
“They were ambushed very quickly,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told the Greenville News. “As soon as they got there the ambush was in place.”
When Florence Police Department (FPD) officers rushed to help the deputies, the shooter opened fire on them, as well, NBC News reported.
FPD Sergeant Terrence Carraway, 52, was fatally shot during the attack, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
FCSO Investigator Farrah “Maxine” Turner was also hit by gunfire.
She succumbed to her wounds approximately three weeks later, after undergoing nine surgeries.
FPD Officer Brian Hart was shot in the hand and FCSO Deputy Arie Davis was shot in the leg, WBTW reported.
FPD Officer Travis Scott, Officer Scott Williamson and FCSO Investigator Sarah Miller were also wounded in the mass shooting, according to WBTW.
Frederick Hopkins has been charged with five counts of attempted murder and two counts of murder.
Seth Hopkins later pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and is serving a 20-year prison sentence, according to WPDE.
Deputy Davis and Officer Hart filed lawsuits last week against Frederick Hopkins, Seth Hopkins, Frederick’s then-wife, Cheryl Hopkins, and David Suggs as trustees of the Suggs Family Revocable Trust, WPDE reported.
Both suits accuse Cheryl Hopkins and Suggs of knowing there were unsecured guns in the home and knowing Frederick Hopkins suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the news outlet.
The officers alleged Cheryl Hopkins and Suggs allowed Seth Hopkins to sexually assault minor children, ultimately leading to the officers responding to the residence to arrest him, WPDE reported.
The lawsuits further alleged the officers’ injuries “were directly and proximately caused by the Defendant Seth Hopkins’s careless, negligent, grossly negligent, willful, wanton, reckless, and unlawful acts,” to include sexually assaulting a child and asking his father to protect him from law enforcement, WPDE reported.
Seth Hopkins was well aware there were unsecured firearms in the home and allowed his father to shoot at police in an attempt to evade arrest, according to the lawsuit.
Attorneys for the family of Deputy Turner filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Sept. 12, WBTW reported.
Sgt. Carraway’s widow, Allison Carraway, filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Sept. 24, according to WPDE.